Alice Oglethorpe, SELF magazine
According to researchers at the University College London, it only takes 18 days to make a habit stick. Get up and out for an A.M. sweat session with these five tips.
1. It’s the Fit Girl’s #1 Secret: The enviably in-shape women we polled–athletes, trainers, everyday superwomen with flat abs–break a sweat first thing. No wonder: In the morning, you have max willpower, but as the day wears on, making healthy decisions becomes tougher, says Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., social psychology professor at Florida State University and coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. Resisting online shopping splurges, ignoring an ex’s text–these feats sap resolve, and you may not have much left to drag yourself to the gym at night.
2.Treats Won’t Be As Tempting: A workout can make you less I-need-that at the sight of food (like those office cupcakes that show up at your weakest moments), say Brigham Young University researchers. And that crap about exercise making you famished? Nothing to it; you won’t eat more after you sweat, their research indicates.
3. You Could be Little Miss Sunshine All Day: The mood high from exercise lasts up to 12 hours, a study from The University of Vermont found. That’s a lot of smiling.
4. BTW, You Might Nab a Promotion: After a sweatfeast, people are better at managing their time at work (aka you’re more likely to switch your Gchat notification to Busy), a study from the University of Bristol in England reports.
5. No More Tossing and Turning: Morning exercisers have less trouble falling asleep than do evening gymgoers, a study published in Sleep shows, and the more A.M. minutes you log, the easier it is to nod off. Better still: Your night’s wide open!