The Time of Your Exercise Can Make a Massive Difference to Your Body
Science says that one small change in your morning routine could make your day way more productive than usual. And it’s not a big change, not something that could turn your day upside down or anything. It’s a simple habit of getting moderate exercise, like a brisk walk in the early hours, before you eat your breakfast.
Bright Side is diving into this new reasoning and listing out the other benefits you can sneak in with a morning, pre-breakfast workout.
1. A brisk morning walk promotes smarter decision-making.
In 2019, a study found that 30-minutes of moderate-intensity workouts in the morning, like a brisk walk, improved cognitive functions. Basically, a morning workout makes you smarter because it leads you to make better decisions, unlike sedentary behavior that may dumb you down.
2. It helps with quick weight loss.
A 2017 study by the University of Bath, UK, concluded that obese men who walked for an hour before eating activated their stored fat-burning genes better than the participants who walked after eating. A more recent 2020 study also had similar results. Participants who exercised before breakfast burned double the fat compared to those who exercised after a meal.
3. A morning walk can aid in better sleep.
Research has indicated that people with sleep problems tend to get better sleep with morning exercise, and the simple explanation for this is that light resets your body clock. Exposure to bright light in the morning resets your body clock and makes it ready for bed at night.
Plus, exposure to sunlight is not just good for your bones, but it also suppresses the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, leading to a more wakeful day.
4. It can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Research says that a 30-minute walk every day could cut down the risk of you getting heart disease by 35%-40%. More benefits include better circulation, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of diabetes as well. Then again, a 20-minute walk, at any time of the day, reduces your risk of death by 30% and more.
5. A morning walk can help increase productivity.
Science says there’s nothing like a brisk walk to get those juices flowing. Walking helps you think of new ideas, and the fresh air can put some new thoughts in your mind.
6. It burns through stored energy reserves.
So, why is it good to walk in the morning on an empty stomach? It’s because in the morning, after a good night’s sleep, our blood sugar levels are low. The glycogen store, the carbohydrates stored in the liver and the muscles that are used as fuel during exercise, is also low. So when you exercise in the morning without eating anything, your body first burns through the glycogen.
Then, after it’s over, it starts to burn fat stored in the body, and that’s exactly what will help you lose the extra weight and gain muscle mass instead.
7. A morning walk helps with continuous fat burn.
Remember, if and when you exercise on an empty stomach, stick to light or moderate cardio, like a brisk walk. If you take on too much exercise, depleted energy levels can make you dizzy. Drink water before you exercise because you are also dehydrated in the morning. A couple of glasses before the workout and a couple more after rehydrate the body and can help flush out toxins.
We continue to burn calories at a faster rate for about 30 minutes after exercise — called afterburn — so it’s also a good idea to wait 30 minutes before eating anything after exercising.
Do you go for morning walks or evening exercise? What difference do you see between moderate cardio in the morning or any other time of the day?