Morning workouts come packed with innumerable benefits, no doubt. But do they include weight loss? Some health and fitness experts recently conducted a study which emphasized the relationship between workout timing and weight loss.
They found that doing exercises before 7 a.m. greatly contributed toward a reduced hunger level, which in turn led to the consumption of fewer calories. Since participants in the exercise group maintained an early workout routine and were consistent, they ended up eating fewer meals during the day.
In essence, it’s true that weight loss becomes possible when you work out before midday rather than later in the afternoon. Who would have thought that morning workouts could help a person lose weight?
Read on to find out.
What’s Special about Morning Workouts?
Morning workouts don’t work the same way for everyone. People are different, and it’s usually advisable to have your workouts when it’s convenient for you. But what makes morning exercises really special?
- Morning workouts are filled with little to no distractions. Many times, people prefer a quiet environment as they jog or talk brisk walks. Such early walks are best enjoyed when there’s no neighbor saying hello or traffic isn’t started yet. If you prefer a quiet time as you exercise early in the day, you might find morning workout routines perfect.
- Also, morning exercises are easier to get used to. People who find it easier to keep at specific tasks for a longer period will find early morning sweat sessions to be ideal. Being consistent with these exercises only requires you to have your morning gear laid out before bedtime the night before. Once you wake up and obey the “get out of bed” voice in your head, you’ll achieve the much-needed consistency.
- Working out before 10 a.m. helps you to avoid the hotter part of the day. Usually, early morning exercisers enjoy the weather better than late exercisers as they don’t have to deal with the sun and the fear of ultra-violet rays harming their skin. So, if you’re thinking about working out in the morning, this is one big reason to motivate you.
- Again, morning workouts tend to set the tone for your meals during the day. Because early exercises will often leave you feeling a little less hungry, you’ll naturally make healthier food choices during the day. This research found that students who worked out in the morning reduced their intake of fried foods and red meat overtime.
- Another major benefit of morning workouts is increased energy levels. When you start your day with physical activity that flex your muscles and activate your joints, you’re likely to feel more energized to face the day.
- One of the biggest advantages of morning exercises is weight loss. In this study, it was found that people who exercised early in the day burned more fat than those who exercised in the afternoon or evening. Although it was conducted in the US and Japan, the study observed individuals who worked out before breakfast and it was discovered that the body spent the 24 hours following exercise burning fat.
- Closely tied to the weight loss benefit is a controlled appetite. Since morning exercises have a strong influence on the hunger hormone known as Ghrelin, people are likely to respond to food with more control. A study which observed normal-weight and obese women discovered that the brain responded to images of food differently when exercise comes before breakfast.
Other perks of working out in the morning include an increased level of alertness of activity, lower blood pressure, and overall healthier lifestyle. Nonetheless, it’s better to be consistent with what works for you than inconsistent with morning workouts if they don’t fit your lifestyle or time.
How do Morning Workouts aid Weight Loss?
It’s true that specific morning habits can help you lose weight. And one of them includes morning workouts. But how exactly does this work?
In a study conducted at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, some researchers observed 100 men and women who had previously been inactive. After several months of exercising, these individuals were gradually losing weight. However, they further decided to consider the workout timing of each individual.
The results of this small study showed that people who arrived at the laboratory gym and exercised before noon lost more weight. When compared to those who worked out after 3 p.m., the early exercisers burned more calories, ate fewer meals during the day, and remained more active than the after-noon exercisers.
While the original aim of the study wasn’t to figure out how exercise timing affected weight loss, the statistics did prove that morning workouts produced a greater result than workouts done later in the day.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of losing weight when you exercise during other parts of the day. If you can’t maintain a morning exercise routine, it’d be wiser to do what works for you. Choose a better time of the day to sweat and reenergize.
Another huge case for morning workouts and weight loss is the role sleep plays. When you exercise early in the day, you get to enjoy more quality sleep. And when you sleep better, the hormones responsible for your appetite are in check. On the long run, you’ll lose weight.
Here’s the thing:
This study of overweight women who performed regular morning workouts found that those who exercised in the morning enjoyed better sleep than those who worked out in the evening. Working out in the morning, due to the consistency involved (among other things), works in agreement with your circadian rhythm (body clock) and you can grab good rest without difficulty at night time.
In essence, when you sleep well, your appetite will be controlled, and you’ll maintain your desired body weight. But when you don’t sleep well, you’ll have an increased appetite.
Morning Workouts You Can Perform to Lose Weight
So, you’re considering starting your day with morning exercises for weight loss. Below, you’ll find some basic workouts which you can engage in to lose weight and gain your desired body shape.
These weight loss exercises are best performed in the morning because you get to receive your body’s best requirements early. For instance, basking in the sun shortly after you wake up gives you a good supply of vitamin D and keeps you thinner and within the appropriate weight for your age or body size.
Here’s the list:
- Brisk Walking – An hour of brisk walking four to five times a week will go a long way in helping you shed pounds. Walking at a faster rate increases your heart rate and causes you to sweat. And when you sweat, you burn calories.
- Jogging – One of the most common exercises, jogging is an inexpensive way to lose weight. And jogging in the morning, rather than in the evening will allow you enjoy quietness and fewer distractions which would hardly be possible in the busier times of the day.
- Squats – Squats are equally great for losing weight. And adding squats to your morning routine will help you to try a variety of moves and stretch your body more than you normally would. Since squats target your lower body and tone your muscles, you’ll be getting other benefits in addition to weight loss.
- Yoga – Mindfulness also plays a big role in weight loss. Being mindful as you engage in yoga asanas like the boat pose will enable you to create a connection between your mind and body. As a result, you’ll gradually observe reduction in your weight and feel happier in your mind. The best part – yoga is one of the at-home morning workouts you can perform if you prefer your home to the gym.
- Jumping Rope – This is a complete body exercise which both young and adult men can enjoy. Besides the fact that it gets you sweating and panting as a result of an increased heart rate, it’s also an entertaining way to burn fat.
Other medium to vigorous forms of exercises include running, swimming, biking, and dancing. Remember to set small goals until you can handle a full one hour workout. 10 minutes per day is a good start if you’re new to morning or daily exercises.
If you’re planning to engage in morning workout to lose belly fat, avoid exercising on an empty tummy. Plank, for example focuses on burning belly fat but also demands that you have good fuel to support you as you train.
Grabbing a light breakfast before you set out allows you to maintain your body energy while shedding off some pounds. You don’t want to feel dizzy and fatigued before you start your physical activity for the day. Science also supports this.
How to do Morning Workouts for Quick Weight Loss
To get the best of your morning workouts, consider the following tips:
- Lay your workout gear in a specific location so that you can don it easily when you get out of bed
- Set an alarm if you’re trying to achieve consistency with your daily morning routines
- Play some music in the background as you workout whether you’re out on the road or at the gym
- Train on weekends if possible to reduce any chances of you getting lax.
On a final note, morning workouts are great for weight loss because there’s evidence to show that they are. When you start your day with morning exercises, you prime yourself for the day and increase your chances of losing weight.
Take that walk, jog, cycle, swim or run if you like. Your goal should be to lose weight gradually and ultimately achieve perfect health.