A few weeks ago, we posted a mid-year business review checklist. In that same spirit, we thought this is the perfect time check-in on the state of your physical and mental health (which of course, are closely linked).

A common characteristic shared by many top-performing real estate agents is an adherence to a strict morning routine. Before they sit down to begin prospecting, they often get up early, leaving enough time for meditation/contemplation, reading and a morning workout.

While many people loathe the idea of any form of morning exercise, top performing agents understand the relationship between exercise, mental health and success.

If you don’t have a morning exercise routine, perhaps now is the time to get up early, pull on the sweats and get started with a program that fits your needs and lifestyle. For motivation, here are 10 solid reasons why morning exercise can be a game changer for your life:

  1. HEALTHIER EATING. Contrary to the myth, morning exercise does not increase your appetite. A study at Brigham Young University found that morning exercise diminishes the appeal of food. Another study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that women found appetizing images less appealing after only a 45 minute workout. Myriad other studies reveal that a morning workout actually leads to making healthy eating decisions throughout the day: less red meat, less fats, less carbs.
  2. BURNING FAT. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that exercising on an empty stomach burned as much as 20 percent more fat than exercising after meals have been eaten
  3. LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE. A study from Appalachian State University reveals that 30 minutes of morning exercise reduces blood pressure by 10 percent those who exercise for 30 minutes each morning (compared to exercising midday and early evening), had a 10 percent reduction in their blood pressure. In fact, not only did they maintain this lower blood pressure throughout the day, it actually dropped to 25 percent at night.
  4. BUILD MUSCLE. Because of higher testosterone levels in the morning, it’s easier to build muscle through strength training according to The National Institute for Fitness & Health.
  5. MORE RESTFUL SLEEP. Myriad studies link morning exercise to deeper, longer and higher quality sleep, compared to an evening workout.
  6. BETTER FOCUS. A study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that morning exercise improves attention, visual learning and decision making.
  7. IMPROVED MOOD. The aforementioned Brigham Young study found that those who work out in the morning stay focused and more active throughout the day.
  8. INCREASED ALERTNESS. A morning workout can enhance cortisol production, which helps improved overall alertness throughout the day.
  9. BEAT THE HEAT. With many parts of the country experiencing record heat, it’s much safer and healthier to work out as early as possible (especially if you’re a runner or walker).
  10. ENHANCED MENTAL HEALTH. A study by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public health found that just 15 minutes of running can reduce the risk of major depression by 26%. Exercise is also an excellent anti-anxiety treatment, relieving tension and stress, boosting physical and mental energy and enhancing well-being.

One other bonus benefit of a morning workout is that you’re less likely to be distracted. Morning is the one time a day when you can get a break from emails, texts, social media posts and phone calls.

If you don’t currently have an exercise routine (morning or otherwise), make sure your doctor gives you the OK to work out before starting. Then, take it slow, and build your stamina. Before long you’ll look forward to the energizing effects your morning workout is having on your well- being, and hopefully your bottom line.