Finding time to squeeze in a workout can seem more challenging than the exercise itself — and when you do may make all the difference.
Working out in the morning — and getting all your exercise over with at the same time every day — makes it easier to form workout habits that actually stick, researchers discovered earlier this year. The findings were published in the journal Obsesity in July 2019.
Inverse is counting down the 25 biggest stories of human potential of 2019. This is #14.*
Dale Bond, professor at Brown Alpert Medical School, led the research. His team surveyed 375 adults who had lost at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off for a full year.
Of the participants, people who managed to keep up a steady workout schedule of at least two days a week tend to do two things:
1: Sixty eight percent of successful gym-goers worked out at the same time each day.
2: Nearly half of those consistent exercisers — 47.8 percent — worked out in the early morning, as opposed to the late morning, afternoon, or evening.
The results fit with previous research that suggests a regular exercise habit is more likely to stick if you get it out of the way first thing. Unfortunately, sleeping in may mean sleeping on these big benefits.
Timing alone might not cut it, though. Another factor is also key to developing strong workout habits — “automaticity.” That means dragging yourself out of bed to get to the gym without thinking too deeply about it.
First step to forming this good habit yourself: Create a routine, any routine. Even if it’s an evening routine. “Through consistently exercising immediately after work, leaving work may become paired with going to the gym,” the researchers wrote. That kind of consistency is called “priming,” and it essentially lowers the mental tax of getting to the gym. With priming, you can reduce the amount of attention, effort, and motivation that you need to get going.
As 2019 draws to a close, Inverse is revisiting 25 striking lessons for humans to help maximize our potential. This is #14. Some are awe-inspiring, some offer practical tips, and some give a glimpse of the future. Read the original article here.