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New Studies Pinpoint Best Time of Day to Exercise for Better Weight Management, Overall Health

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Obesity is a widespread problem. Over 36% of Australian adults are overweight and 31% obese, meaning the country has the ninth-highest proportion of overweight and obese individuals amongst the 21 members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Because of this, excess weight has been hailed as the second leading risk factor for ill-health and premature mortality.

Luckily, overweight and obese individuals can turn their lives around with healthy habits. Though most people take this to mean they should eat better, revamping diet shouldn’t be the only method to turn to for weight management. Exercise is also extremely crucial, which is why the best weight loss programs include it as a component alongside healthy eating.

Staying active allows anyone to burn calories that would otherwise turn into fat. And making time to exercise gives a bigger boost to the motivation to stick to a healthier lifestyle. One great way to incorporate workouts into a lifestyle is to follow Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. These guidelines recommend 75 minutes of vigorous or 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.

Best time of day to exercise for better weight management. Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels

However, one thing that’s always a struggle to figure out is when to exercise. Fortunately, science now has an answer – workouts are most effective when done in the morning. Here’s why:

Why Is It Better To Exercise In The Morning?

Although exercising at any time of the day will burn calories, a recent weight loss study reveals that working out in the morning will give the best outcomes for weight loss and overall health. Researchers found that people who worked out between 7 and 9 AM achieved a lower waist circumference (an average of 96 cm) and BMI (27.5) than those who worked out in midday or evening (an average between 97.8 cm and 97.5 cm and a BMI of 28.3).

For the most part, experts believe this phenomenon is caused by the fact that the body is still in fasting mode in the morning. That allows the body to rely on stored fat for energy rather than glucose from food, helping to burn more calories. It also means it’s more likely to have a lower daily caloric intake and faster resting metabolism than people who don’t exercise earlier in the day.

From a behavioral standpoint, mornings facilitate the completion of exercise prior to addressing daily tasks at work and at home that might otherwise hinder engagement in physical activity. Additionally, a structured exercise schedule is established, promoting long-term adherence and potentially augmenting weight loss outcomes. The exercise regimen is also easier to stick to in the long term.

How Can One Maximise Morning Workouts For Better Weight Management?

Exercise Before Breakfast

Given how morning workouts facilitate the burning of stored fat in the body, maximizing the fasting state between dinner and breakfast is advisable. This particular exercising tip was proven effective by a Belgian study, which found that men who exercised in the morning on empty stomachs only gained 0.7 kg from a fat-rich diet, compared to the 1.4 kg gained by those who exercised after breakfast (1.4 kg). However, don’t enforce a pre-breakfast workout in exchange for general well-being. Hydrating before the session can help avoid a completely empty stomach. If dizziness occurs, it is advisable to rest and attempt the workout at another time.

Ease Into Morning Exercises

Given how sluggish mornings can feel, the challenge lies in getting up and engaging in exercise. To ease into a morning routine, consider adopting the cosy cardio trend. Simply wear casual attire, such as pajamas, and perform basic cardio exercises like walking on a treadmill while watching Netflix or listening to a podcast. This allows for relaxation, gradual movement upon waking, and serves as motivation for more intense morning workouts.

With research finding that exercises are more effective in the morning, many people find that starting working out earlier is better for weight management and overall health. For more articles on health and wellness, visit our health page here on NewsBlaze Australia.

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