People often ask, “When is the good time to exercise?”. The answer many time varies from people to people. But according to some recent studies, the time of day that you exercise may actually help you maximize the effectiveness of your workouts. A study in J of Physiology (2010) of 28 healthy adult men found that despite increasing the amount of calories and the amount of fat they consumed, the group that exercised first thing in the morning before eating any breakfast managed to avoid any weight gain, in comparison to the group of men who consumed the same amount of fat and calories but who worked out after breakfast.
While it is a small and short-term study, the findings were very interesting in that they supported the idea that timing one’s workout to occur after a long period of fasting (or first thing in the morning) will support more rapid weight loss. The idea behind this is that when are in a fasting (all night fast) and then you exercise, your body will most likely burn your stored fat reserves, as opposed to when you exercise after eating, your body is burning off the food you just ate.
Now, if you are like many, the idea of waking up one to two hours earlier to exercise may not sound appealing. Many people have difficult time getting up early in morning. But knowing that you can burn off more fat, may give you some incentive now. There are some simple things you can do to help you achieve this:
- Early to bed and early to rise: I know it is easier said than done for many, but if you try to make it a goal, you may begin to start going to bed 30 min early and then slowly working up to 1 hr early. When you start getting up early, slowly your body will adjust its circadian rhythm and you will be able to get up early without any problem
- Get a workout buddy: A friend can make drudging out in the morning a little bit more fun, plus you’ll have the pressure/motivation of knowing someone is waiting on you.
- Prepare for morning the night before: Before going to bed, set your coffee pot to brew when your alarm clock goes off (smell that caffeine!), lay out your gym clothes for a quick change. Once you convince yourself to get out of bed, you can be ready for the gym and out the door in 10 minutes or less, making it feel less like a drag.
Changing up your workout schedule may seem difficult at first, but after a few weeks of commitment and consistency, you may start to appreciate the benefits, not only for weight loss, but also with being able to start your morning off on a productive note. Exercise does a lot more than just weight loss. It also improves mood. This morning routine will set the tone for the rest of the day and you may find an improved and flourishing work and personal life. Give it a try and let us know on what the difference has been in your mood and your health!
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