Get Physical or Snooze? What to Know About Exercising Early Versus Sleeping in

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It’s the age-old question, should you get up and get active when the morning alarm rings, or should you be hitting snooze again?

In a recent TODAY article, personal trainer and weight loss coach, Stephanie Mansour, recalls a new client she had who was waking up at 5 a.m. and sacrificing hours of sleep to fit in a workout. She notes how difficult it can be to balance the desire to add more activity into your life along with a long work schedule and other responsibilities.

“As a holistic weight loss coach, I look at the entire person and their habits, lifestyle, work, life, and social commitments to design an exercise routine that works for them,” says Mansour. And sleep is something that must be factored into it, she says.

How to Decide to Sleep or to Train

Mansour outlines some things that should come before solidifying that early morning routine.

  • Don’t force yourself to immediately start waking up early if you’re not a morning person. Instead, make exercise a habit in your daily life first. One hurdle at a time.
  • Get your 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep plays a big role in your health, and if you’re sleep-deprived, you may experience weight gain, it might be harder to lose weight, and you’ll be more prone to grabbing unhealthy foods. Plus, who wants to feel groggy and strung out all day?
  • If you’re incredibly stressed out, an early morning spin class won’t do you any favors. While exercise can combat stress, it’s important to prioritize that beauty sleep and reduce the cortisol in your body. Try a more relaxing workout like walking or yoga.

Mansour says you should prioritize a full night’s rest and let fitness fill in the blanks throughout the day. It may even be as simple as taking a quick, 10-minute walk during the work day or choosing the stairs over the elevator.

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Carley Prendergast

Carley Prendergast

Carley is a former Staff Writer at Sleepopolis. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach who wrote news, sleep health content, and managed our newsletter.

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