I've always been a self-proclaimed gym rat. But for years, my workout routine was as follows: get home from work, wolf down dinner while simultaneously changing into spandex, then beeline it to the gym before it closed. Consequently, I had a negligible social life and almost no down time. Plus, my workouts suffered because I was forced to rush through them and felt permanently exhausted.
Then one night, I was yawning mid-rep and decided I was sick of this life. What if, instead, I set my alarm at the crack of dawn for 6am workouts from here on out? Would it be worth it, let alone doable?
The "doable" part I realized would be on me, but professionals say the rise-and-sweat is definitely worth it. "If you're the kind of person who can get up in the morning for a productive workout, I highly recommend it," says NYC-based personal trainer and nutritional coach Theo Lusardi. "Post-workout, your body has an oxygen debt called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) that causes it to burn extra calories for several hours after. When you work out in the morning, you reap those benefits all day. But when you exercise at night before bed, you lose a lot of that effect because your heart rate and metabolism plummet while you sleep."