With the holiday season in full swing, your after-work schedule is about to blow up. And let’s be honest, every party invite you receive is just one more night you’re not going to show up to the gym. So even if you’re a strictly-sweat-at-night kind of girl, it’s time to embrace the morning workout. You know it’ll help you stick to your fitness goals this month, but we get that you might need more convincing. Here, the best reasons for sweating it out in the A.M.
1. You won’t have to squeeze it in before happy hour.
Because you’re not going to go after you grab “just one drink” at the office party. Even if you seem fine, it’s not a good idea to work out after a glass of wine.
2. You’ll fire up fat burning when you need it most.
“You’re going to start your day with your metabolism revved up,” says Monica Nelson, American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer. “Which means you’re going to burn through the food you eat during the day, rather than when you’re sleeping.” Especially clutch when your coworkers are bringing in homemade holiday fudge.
3. You’ll be better able to focus.
Your chances of getting distracted are way lower first thing in the morning, says Nelson. Think about it: It’s a lot easier to focus on your workout when no one is emailing or texting you every five seconds. Seriously, not even Twitter is awake yet.
4. You’ll avoid the crowds.
Gyms are usually a bit less crowded super-early in the morning. And that means you probably won’t have to deal with the 12 most annoying people at the gym.
5. …Or you can avoid the gym altogether.
If the thought of getting to the gym and back before work makes you even more exhausted, just stay home. Try this fat-blasting body-weight circuit or this no-equipment workout to tone up from the comfort of your living room.
6. You’ll set a healthy tone for the day.
That rush of endorphins you feel after a great workout boosts your energy and your mood, says Nelson. And you’re less likely to nosh on junk food in this super-healthy state of mind. “You usually feel so good that you want to refuel with good food.”
7. You don’t need to wake up that much earlier.
If you can only spare a few minutes in the morning, try one of our 5-minute workout videos. If you can set your alarm just 15 minutes earlier, you’ll have enough time for an arm workout, abs workout, or even a fast, total-body workout.
*This story was originally published on WomensHealth.com.