The benefits of early morning endorphins
All of us have an internal body clock. Known as a circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle, humans have evolved to work in tandem with the ebb and flow of daylight to optimise our hormones and metabolism. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, it’s important to understand the health-boosting effects of morning endorphins and how they can bolster your health goals.
Rise and shine
Endorphins, commonly referred to as ‘happy hormones’, are chemicals that we produce during times of heightened stimulation. Orgasms, pain, excitement and exercise all trigger our brains to create these potent peptides (or endogenous opioid peptides to give them their technical name).
Endorphins make us happy, but they also produce an analgesic effect to protect us from pain. ‘Runner’s high’ is a great example of this – after about 20 minutes of aerobic activity, endorphins kick-in to balance out sore muscles and achy joints.
In addition, researchers have found that endorphins can help make us slimmer, healthier, feel younger and even smarter. How? The upward cycle of exercise and positivity improves our sleep and helps us make better food choices. These factors in turn sharpen our cognitive processes, improve our metabolism and contribute to feelings of happiness and well-being.
So, if you want to get onboard the endorphin express and enjoy all the benefits that these feel good chemicals bring, the best thing to do is get up early and start moving. Testosterone levels are 30% higher at the start of the day for both men and women which aids muscle growth and adaptation. Take advantage of this by developing a good sleep pattern.
Go to bed at the same time, switch off your phone and avoid late night food and alcohol. Come the morning, you’ll be rested and full of energy. In addition, your body will have used up the bulk of carbohydrate stores during sleep to repair your muscles, so if you can exercise before breakfast, your body will burn fat instead. It’s no wonder that personal trainers prefer early morning sessions as they know their clients will see quick and impressive results.
Lastly, to get a double-whammy of mood boosting hormones, try to exercise outdoors first thing. The magic combination of sunshine and cardio will set your mind and body up for the day ahead, reducing stress and supporting your immune system.
For some, the thought of jumping out of bed before work or childcare to exercise will be a struggle. But if you give it a go, reset your sleep and exercise habits (and stick with it), you should start seeing results quickly.
At The Pure Package we can design a tailored meal plan that will keep you on track whether that be to support you in a fitness endeavour or to lose weight sustainably. Our programmes give you the gift of convenience to fit in around your busy life. Less time spent in the supermarket and the kitchen means more time to work out, relax and do the things that make you happy.