Cycling boosts your cardiovascular fitness without putting stress on your hips and knees the way that running and walking do. Whether you’re joining a spin class at a local gym or hopping onto a bike for some outdoor riding, cycling in the morning offers specific benefits for your well-being, health and weight-loss goals.
When it’s cold and dark outside, it’s very difficult to get out of bed and out for a ride. Make the process easier by preparing everything in advance. That way, you can basically roll out of bed and straight onto the saddle.
The idea is to minimise your excuses for staying in bed. Psychologically, the fewer the steps required to start riding, the easier it will be to take that very first step of extricating yourself from the bedsheets. Also, if you’ve already gone to the trouble of preparing for your ride, it will be a waste to go back to sleep. It’s a twist on the sunk cost fallacy, but in this case, if it motivates you get onto your bike, that’s only a good thing.
Early-morning workouts enhance your body’s levels of endorphins — hormones that help you feel good and create a natural “high” feeling — and also increase your circulation, thus energizing you and waking you up. Your improved mood and higher levels of energy will often last for several hours after your workout, so you don’t have to worry about the post-caffeine crash that often happens when you depend on coffee and other stimulants for your morning boost.
Many people find that morning exercise “regulates” their appetite for the day – that they aren’t as hungry and that they make better food choices. Several people have told me that it puts them in a “healthy mindset.”
If you exercise at about the same time every morning, and ideally wake-up at about the same time on a regular basis, your body’s endocrine system and circadian rhythms adjust to that.
Physiologically, some wonderful things begin to happen. A couple of hours before you awaken, your body begins to prepare for waking and exercise because it “knows” it’s about to happen. Why? Because it “knows” you do the same thing just about everyday. You benefit from that in several ways.
If you’re cycling for its weight-loss perks, morning cycling offers you distinct health benefits toward this specific goal. That’s why many professional cyclists enjoy fasted cycling: the practice of bicycling in the morning before eating any food. Doing so may help your body to burn off more of its fat stores, with professional cyclists and professional bodybuilders typically aiming for approximately 20 minutes of fasted cardio.