Moving Will Help You Have a Productive Work Day: Morning Exercises Improve Memory and Cognitive Skills
Not everyone is a morning person. While some jumpstart their day with a grueling exercise routine, some would rather stay inside their warm blankets and bargain with their alarm clocks, asking for another five minutes. Science, however, has to side with the jumpstarters because morning workouts will not only help boost your energy in the morning but also aid in improving cognitive functions and memory.
Have you ever wondered how we wake up in the morning? It’s all because of cortisol, our biological alarm clock. But the hormone’s power does not only end there – it is also responsible for controlling emotions and responding to stress.
With these strengths, a study conducted by the University of North Carolina said that exercising in the morning helps improve our cortisol levels, which makes us less groggy. Taking advantage of cortisol’s capabilities in the morning also leads to a stronger and lighter feeling, as if you have Superman’s strength.
Cortisol levels start to get low in the afternoon and performing workouts in the a.m. improves your sleep at night. A research from the National Sleep Foundation explained that those who run the treadmill at 7 a.m. have deeper sleep and have more time spent in the reparative stage while they are snoozing.
Morning exercises are also the best coffee substitute. According to a study from the University of Georgia, even a short 10-minute exercise can wake us up better than caffeine, which is helpful especially if you think you’re overdosing yourself with a cup of joe.
Improvement of the Cognitive Skills
A study by the University of Western Australia discovered that morning training aids in improving decision-making skills, which will come handy in work. They said that having a lazy lifestyle is linked to having poor cognitive skills whereas practicing an active behavior makes it better.
The study included 67 participants aging from 55 to 80, where they were observed to see what will happen if they have a moderate-intensity workout for 30 minutes and a 3-minute walk every 30 minutes for the whole day compared to no exercises at all.
The research then concluded that having morning exercises and brain breaks, as they call the 3-minute breaks from 30 minutes of sitting, are the best tandem for improving short-term memory. Having no exercise nor the said breaks will lead to lower marks on cognitive and executive functions.
The study further explained that moderate-intensity workouts in the morning and low-intensity 3-minute walks improve the production of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, thus stimulating the birth of new neuron, making the memory of the old better. While at work, instead of just sitting all day, try walking for three minutes when your eyes are getting tired from looking at the computer.
Commitment to Exercise
Aside from these health benefits, a morning workout also helps us commit to our physical routines. According to the National Institutes of Health, this should be treated as having appointments or dates, or perhaps a meeting at the office you deem important.
We need to allot time in the morning for exercise and make it a point to prioritize it before we handle the things we need to do throughout the day. They also suggest working out with a friend and trying new classes to encourage setting goals for your routines.
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