We all know Saturdays can be as busy as a weekday with life, laundry or extra-murals to catch up on.
While you do need a lie-in on occasion, perhaps swap the Sunday morning sleep-in for an afternoon nap, because starting your Sunday with some activity can help you get your week off to an energising start, says Discovery Vitality biokineticist Mari Leach.
Here are three reasons to motivate you to focus on fitness:
Exercise boosts your metabolism
A study that looked at the effects of a 45-minute vigorous intensity exercise session showed a significant elevation in post-exercise energy consumption that could last for up to 14 hours. This means that by putting in a solid exercise session on a Sunday morning, you’ll burn more kilojoules throughout your day – which can help you lose weight faster.
Exercise can help develop consistency and self-discipline
Scheduling an exercise session in the afternoon or evening makes it easier to procrastinate or cancel entirely. Your day can fill up quickly – other priorities take preference or often it seems too tiring to train afterwards, especially if you want to get an early night in preparation for the work week ahead. When you work out in the morning, you prioritise your health, and exercise becomes one less thing on your to-do list for the rest of the day.
Exercise helps to lower stress and anxiety
Exercise can lift your spirits. When you start exerting yourself, your body releases hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These help to regulate your mood, energy, motivation and attention. Exercise also releases endorphins, which help relieve pain and stress. If Sunday is the only day you can fit exercise in, you should take advantage of it, says Discovery Vitality biokineticist Mari Leach.
‘It’s been proven that people who exercise on a regular basis have lower depression and anxiety levels than their less active counterparts. Studies have also found that people prone to high anxiety but who are very active are less likely to panic when compared to those with low activity levels.’ So hopefully, Sunday morning exercise can help you handle the rest of the weeks’ stressors better, be it traffic or normal workday frustration.
Read more: How to deal with stress – use your body
5 tips to get a morning exercise routine going:
- It’s obvious – but go to bed earlier on Saturdays. Lying in bed isn’t good enough if you’re still watching or reading something, even if your blue light filter is on. Ensure your bedroom is as dark and quiet as you can manage, try clear your mind, and take a few deep, full breaths to help you drift off faster.
- Set out your exercise clothes the night before to make things easier and faster in the morning.
- Don’t snooze. Position your alarm on the other side of the room, forcing you to get up from bed to switch it off. When it wakes you, don’t lie there debating whether or not to get up – the less you think about it, the better! Just heave yourself up and go – you’ll feel much better afterwards.
- Remember to do a proper warm-up at the start of your morning training session as your body temperature will be lower than in the afternoon.
- Make your Sunday morning session something fun – like walking your dog, catching up with a buddy over a training session or doing a myrun with your entire family.
Leigh Buckle, one of the creators of myrun, says, ‘We chose to do our runs on a Sunday at 8am because we are aware of how many parents are at sports events with their kids on a Saturday, and that people are busy with the errands they don’t get to during the busy week. For us, Sunday is a feel-good family day, a social and community day, where people take the time to relax and unwind.’
myruns are 2.5km or 5km walk or run events open to for anyone, from families with kids and pets to beginner and serious runners. Leigh adds, ‘The events are free and offer people a refreshing, community-strengthening alternative on a Sunday morning – plus they allow you to get an early start on the week’s Vitality fitness points! Our 28 weekly runs (with more being rolled out nationally during the year) are set in beautiful spaces and linked to food and beverage options, so you can enjoy breakfast or a coffee afterwards with like-minded people. We offer a fitness event, but more than that, a holistic and wholesome experience.’