The Benefits Of Early Morning Exercise
It's an idea that fills many people with dread; abandoning the warm cocoon of your duvet to pull on a pair of trainers and drag yourself on a run through the barely-awake streets. But early morning exercise isn't all bad....
The benefits are....
- Avoiding air pollution, which climbs as more cars hit the road
- Missing the heat of the day or evening in the summer
- Early mornings are often a quiet time with fewer people on the road or in the gym
- Can lead to clearer thinking and increased energy levels during daytime activities
- A positive start to the day will inspire you to keep up the good work and eat well
- You won't need an additional shower in the middle of the day
Is it more effective for fat burning?
Sadly, no. This is one of the most enduring exercise myths: that exercising before breakfast pumps up the metabolism for several hours, allowing you to burn more fat than if you exercised later in the day.
The theory is that during sleep the body's source of energy, carbohydrates, is depleted by not eating. By waking up and exercising right away, you force your body to burn fat since carbs aren't available.
HOWEVER, the popularity of this myth doesn't make it any truer. Whilst sleeping your body burns through about 80% of the stored carbohydrates in your liver. When you wake up and exercise before you eat, you burn through the remaining 20% pretty quickly and your blood sugar falls rapidly. But this mainly deprives your brain of fuel, not your muscles, because they have their own energy stores that weren't depleted overnight.
Should I eat before exercising in the morning?
In order to provide fuel for the brain it's a good idea to eat a small amount of carbohydrate as soon as you wake up - a glass of juice and bagel or energy bar works very well for most people. This boost to your blood sugar is typically enough to power your brain through a 45 to 60 minute morning workout.
Does it matter what time of day I exercise?
Early morning exercise definitely has its benefits, but it's not necessarily better than any other time - it's just a fantastic start to the day if you can form the habit!
The best time of day for exercise is completely down to the individual. The key is finding a time when your energy levels are ideal and you can exercise consistently because it fits in to your lifestyle.