This month we’re focusing on the benefits of morning workouts, as well as simple steps to try and alleviate stress. November is also Lung Cancer Awareness Month, so this edition also contains a highlight on how to reduce the risks associated with lung cancer.
Benefits of Morning Workouts
Working out is an essential part of maintaining your overall well-being. In addition to improving your cardiovascular health, regular exercise can also positively affect your mental health.
While it’s healthy to find time for physical activity at any point throughout the day, there are a variety of potential benefits related to scheduling your workouts in the morning, such as:
- Fewer distractions—While exercising in the morning, you may be less likely to be interrupted or distracted by phone calls, text messages or emails. By planning your workouts for the morning, other obligations such as work or social events likely won’t interfere.
- More fat burned—For those working out with the goal of losing weight, doing so in the morning may help. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that working out before breakfast can burn up to 20 per cent more fat compared to doing so in the afternoon or evening.
- Improved alertness—Working out in the morning can release hormones, such as cortisol, which helps make you feel awake and alert for the rest of the day.
- Increased energy—Exercising regularly can boost your energy and help fight off fatigue. By working out early or first thing in the morning, you may be able to maximise the resulting energy increase.
- Better moods—Physical activity can be a great way to manage or reduce stress. Exercise releases endorphins and morning workouts can help you feel a sense of accomplishment for the rest of the day.
- Improved sleep—Exercising in the morning may help some people maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Working out in the evenings may make it comparatively more difficult to sleep due to increased heart rate and core temperature.
Although working out in the morning may have certain benefits, it’s important to consider what will work best for your schedule and lifestyle. Regardless of when you work out, finding time to regularly exercise is incredibly beneficial for your physical and mental well-being.
Stress Prevention Guidance
There is absolutely nothing wrong with stress or struggle with your mental health. Living in a fast-paced working world can feel overwhelming at times, which is why it is so important to look after your mental well-being as much as you can. Below are a few suggestions on how to alleviate stress on a day-to-day basis; it is important to remember that different things work for different people, so experiment and find what’s best for you!
- Split things up. If a large task seems overwhelming, try breaking it down into smaller pieces.
- Be active. Exercise and physical activity create endorphins and can help you overcome negative thoughts.
- Plan ahead. If you know that stressful times are ahead, sitting down and planning out your goals, such as by using a ‘to-do’ list, can help.
- Extra tip: Put your first task as ‘make to-do list’, that way you’ve already completed one task and the sense of achievement will help motivate you to do another!
- Talk to someone. Sharing your feelings with friends, family, colleagues, professionals, or helplines can all help alleviate stress.
Reduce Risks – Lung Cancer Awareness Month
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. This global campaign is comprised of a wide variety of organisations, partners and sponsors, and focuses on expanding awareness of the disease while also raising funds for research and support.
In the UK, approximately 47,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year. This particular type of cancer primarily affects older people and is rare in those younger than 40. Over 40 per cent of people diagnosed with lung cancer in Great Britain are aged 75 and older.
Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, accounting for approximately 72 per cent of all cases. Still, there are other factors that may affect the likelihood of developing the disease, such as:
- Exposure to smokers—Even for those who do not smoke, frequent exposure to tobacco smoke from others can increase lung cancer risk.
- Radon—This natural radioactive gas comes from small amounts of uranium present in rocks and soils. Radon can also be found in some buildings.
- Chemicals—Certain chemicals and substances—such as arsenic, asbestos, beryllium, cadmium, silica, nickel, and coal and coke fumes—can all increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
- Pollution—Research indicates that consistent exposure to diesel fumes or nitrogen oxide gases (mostly produced by motor vehicles) can also increase lung cancer risk.