Not a morning person? Before you throw the covers over your head, think about the benefits you could gain by making time for a workout before starting the rest of your day.
“I like [working out] first thing in the morning, and I like it every morning, and I like it to be the thing you really protect,” fitness guru Tracy Anderson told PEOPLE while attending Tropicana’s #MorningSpark event in Los Angeles on Thursday.
“You can take on anything during the day and any stressors that happen,” says Anderson, who counts Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow among her celebrity clients. “There’s so much more to working out than having a great butt or perfect abs — it has to do with our mental health, our attitude, our ability to fight disease and stress. So it’s really important.”
While the Tracy Anderson Method creator says it’s better to work out at night than not at all, she explains that later sweat sessions can prevent us from getting the sleep we need.
“Sleep is incredibly important,” she says. “I wish people would go to bed earlier and get up earlier in the morning, because what happens when you [work out] in the evening is your adrenaline kicks in, and then it keeps you up later.”
If you’re too rushed to hit the gym in the morning, Anderson recommends finding a fitness DVD or streaming service that you love and committing to at least a 15-minute workout.
“I’m an advocate for experts,” she says. “Go do something strategic, even if it’s 15 minutes of a DVD.”
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And since anyone can commit to a mere 15 minutes, there goes your excuse to hit the snooze button!
“If you hit snooze, then you’re settling for less,” says Anderson. “Get up and get out of bed. I want to hit snooze too!”
But, she adds, it’s okay to skip a morning workout every once in a while.
“No one needs to feel defeated if they can’t get it in every morning,” says Anderson. “For women, identifying when your cycle is, you may want to hit snooze, and it’s important we recognize that. There are times when it’s okay to hit snooze because that’s what our bodies need — as long as it’s not a regular habit or it keeps you from owning your best self.”