SHAPING UP: The benefits of morning exercise and 7 tips to help get you into a routine.

Exercising early in the morning offers lots benefits, both to your health and to your daily schedule:

Graham in action.
Graham in action.

Boost Your MetabolismWhen you workout at high intensity your body continues to burn calories after the workout, even when you're not moving. So, if you get your workout done early on a morning, you'll still be burning calories while sitting at your work desk.

Workout ConsistencyWorking out in the morning ensures that you don't interrupt your workout schedule with other daily issues that crop up. For example, if you exercise in the evening you run the risk of being late from work, feeling overwhelmed with tasks that must be done, or overloaded with other unexpected to-do items. Other times you may simply feel too tired to exercise by the end of a long day. But, in the morning there is nothing to distract you from getting your workout done. Exercise will be your priority.

Improve Your Physical and Mental EnergyMovement can be an excellent source of energy, something many of us need when we start our day. But beyond that, morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day.

Develop Strong Self-DisciplineWaking up early on a morning to exercise certainly requires self-discipline. It's not easy at first and does get easier over time. But while you're training yourself into a routine, the discipline is likely to spill over into other areas of your life too.

Get Better SleepWaking up early in the morning to exercise will in turn help you sleep better. Your body will enjoy a healthy sense of fatigue at the end of the day and will be ready to sleep.

Improve Your Mood and Feel HappierOnce you're into a morning routine, your metabolism is boosted, your body is looking and feeling better, you're sleeping well at night, and your mind is sharper and more alert than ever; you're bound to feel happier!

Making morning exercise part of your daily routine isn't easy at first. You will have to be disciplined to wake up early. But it just takes a little time and practice to make it a habit. Here's seven tips to help you get started:

Go to Bed EarlierIt goes without saying, if you go to bed late, you're going to struggle getting up early. Aim to get 7-8 hours of rest a night. So, if you want to be up at 6pm, make sure you're in bed no later than 10pm.

PrepareLay out your workout gear in the bathroom the night before. Have your running shoes ready at the door. Music playlist ready.

Move Your AlarmSet your alarm clock and then move it away from your arms reach, so that you have to get up out of bed to turn it off.

ShowerAs soon as the alarm goes off, jump up turn it off, and get in the shower. Quickly shower and clean your teeth. This will wake you up straight away. Then get dressed with the workout clothes that should be laid out from the night before.

Drink WaterBefore you leave the house drink a glass of water to hydrate your body.

Keep Your Workout Short but IntenseIt's not easy getting out of bed if you know you have to go through a 60-90 minute workout. Instead, complete a 20-30 minute HIIT style workout to get it done and out of the way quicker. Psychologically it makes getting up easier, plus HIIT style workouts are going to burn calories all day!

Rehydrate & RefuelDrink more water and eat a healthy breakfast as soon as possible after your workout. This part is even easier if you prepare your breakfast the night before too. Overnight oats are my favourite; tasty, nutritious and saves me time on a morning.

Spinach and Prosciutto Muffins


TOTAL TIME: 50 Minutes



6 large eggs

120ml milk

75g soft goat cheese, crumbled

140g baby spinach, wilted and chopped

90g roasted red pepper, diced

60g prosciutto, sliced into ribbons


Begin by preheating your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and spraying a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs, milk, 1⁄4 tsp salt and 1⁄8 tsp black pepper together then stir in the cheese, spinach and roasted red pepper.

Divide this batter among the muffin-pan cups, top with prosciutto and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until just set in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove from cups.

Equally delicious served warm or cold.


This workout mixes cardio and body weight resistance exercises to achieve maximum calorie burn. Perform 5 rounds of the following exercises…

2 minutes 30 seconds BIKE

30 seconds SQUATS

30 seconds LUNGES

30 seconds PRESS UPS

30 seconds BURPEES

30 seconds SIT UPS

Before you start the workout go to the East Coast Fitness facebook page to watch the demo video.