For All-Day Energy and Weight loss, Morning Exercise is Best

Does morning exercise mean faster weight loss? Early exercisers tend to lose more weight than late exercisers, according to a study. Here’s how to make the… Rina - May 9, 2020

Does morning exercise mean faster weight loss? Early exercisers tend to lose more weight than late exercisers, according to a study. Here’s how to make the most of that morning workout to achieve your weight-loss goals, including what to eat for breakfast. Exercising before starting the work or school day is certainly convenient – the sooner you get it out of the way, the better – but, if you’re trying to shed excess weight, there’s probably no more effective time than the morning to schedule your workouts. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the United States working with other institutions found that exercising before noon instead of later in the day may be more beneficial for people who want to slim down.

Their study, published in the International Journal of Obesity in July 2019, involved about 100 overweight and previously inactive young adults. The goal for all participants was to lose five percent of their initial body weight. Over 10 months, the subjects exercised five days a week in a physiology lab, burning up to 600 calories a session. When the study was over, the researchers discovered that a group that exercised in the morning lost about four percent more weight than a group that exercised after 3 pm; and about two percent more than a group with varied exercise schedules. Of the early exercisers, 81 percent achieved their five percent weight loss goal, compared with 54 percent of those with varied schedules and 36 percent of the late exercisers. Not surprisingly, all participants lost some weight compared to a control group that didn’t exercise at all.

early morning and mid-morning workouts. Shutterstock.

1. Consistency in exercise

While the reasons for the discrepancy remain unclear – more studies are needed to investigate this connection between workout timing and weight loss – the researchers noticed some crucial differences between the early and late exercisers. For one, the early exercisers were more physically active throughout the day and also consumed about 100 fewer calories during the day than the late exercisers. If you can’t exercise in the morning or prefer working out later in the day, does it mean you’re doomed if you’re trying to lose weight?

Consistency makes weight loss and weight management sustainable. So, it’s OK if you don’t have time to exercise in the morning; you can harness the weight-loss benefits of a good workout even if you do it in the afternoon or evening or at night. Just keep in mind that working out before breakfast may help the body burn fat more effectively, compared to an evening workout. Besides that, working out in the morning also jumpstarts your metabolism, resulting in you burning calories throughout the day, rather than after an evening workout when you’re sleeping (when metabolism is lower).

Does morning exercise mean faster weight loss?
Morning exercise boosts your metabolism. Shutterstock.

2. Boosts your metabolism

I’m sure a majority of us have heard at some point in our life that working out in the morning helps to boost our metabolism. So in simple terms, the higher your metabolism is, the more calories you burn on a daily basis. Obviously, the more active you are during your workouts, the more calories you are going to burn. Metabolism is the term for a set of chemical reactions that occur in the cells of living organisms to sustain life. The metabolic processes lead to growth and reproduction and allow living organisms to maintain their structures and respond to the surrounding environment.

Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. Metabolism consists of anabolism (the buildup of substances) and catabolism (the breakdown of substances). The term metabolism is commonly used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy. Exercise can boost your metabolism. Building lean muscle mass by exercising can slightly increase your resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns while at rest). In addition, vigorous exercise can increase your metabolic rate for hours after exercise.


a great pre-exercise breakfast. Shutterstock.

3. Which comes first breakfast or exercise?

Eat a healthy breakfast. If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to finish breakfast at least one hour before your workout. Studies suggest that eating or drinking carbohydrates before exercise can improve workout performance and may allow you to work out for a longer time or at a higher intensity. Eating and exercise go hand in hand. When and what you eat can be important to how you feel when you exercise, whether it’s a casual workout or training for a competition. Consider these eating and exercise tips. If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to finish breakfast at least one hour before your workout. Be well fueled going into a workout.

Studies suggest that eating or drinking carbohydrates before exercise can improve workout performance and may allow you to work out for a longer time or at a higher intensity. If you don’t eat, you might feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise. If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a light breakfast or drink something such as a sports drink. Focus on carbohydrates for maximum energy. Fuelling yourself properly when you wake up is just important as the workout itself – the right foods will give you the energy you need to get through your exercise session and prevent you from bingeing on the wrong foods later in the morning. “If you’re trying to lose weight, go for whole grains, like muesli with no added sugar or fat, or oat porridge, with some fresh fruit,” suggests Karen Chong, a dietitian at Matilda International Hospital in Hong Kong.

delicious Chia smoothie. Shutterstock.

4. Post-workout meal

Whether or not you choose to eat before working out, make some wise food choices after exercising. Protein is necessary to rebuild muscles, while carbs will re-stock glycogen, or energy stores, in your muscles. Eating within 15 to 30 minutes post-workout is ideal, but if this isn’t possible, aim for within 60 minutes. To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein within two hours of your exercise session if possible. Good post-workout food choices include:

  • Yogurt and fruit.
  • Peanut butter sandwich.
  • Low-fat chocolate milk and pretzels.
  • Post-workout recovery smoothie.
  • Turkey on whole-grain bread with vegetables.
  • Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables.
  • Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast.
  • Salmon with sweet potato.
  • Tuna salad sandwich on whole-grain bread.
  • Tuna and crackers.
  • Oatmeal, whey protein, banana, and almonds.
  • Cottage cheese and fruits.
remember to stay hydrated. Shutterstock.

5. Stay hydrated

Don’t forget to drink fluids. You need adequate fluids before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration. To stay well-hydrated for exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you: Drink roughly 2 to 3 cups (473 to 710 milliliters) of water during the two to three hours before your workout. Drink about 1/2 to 1 cup (118 to 237 milliliters) of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout.

Adjust amounts related to your body size and the weather. Which is roughly 2 to 3 cups (473 to 710 milliliters) of water after your workout for every pound (0.5 kilograms) of weight you lose during the workout. Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids. But if you’re exercising for more than 60 minutes, use a sports drink. Sports drinks can help maintain your body’s electrolyte balance and give you a bit more energy because they contain carbohydrates.


Does morning exercise mean faster weight loss?
Does morning exercise mean faster weight loss? Shutterstock.

6. Start the day

If you’re looking to start a fitness routine, consider morning workouts. Early exercise will help you start the day with more energy, focus, and optimism. Plus, after a morning workout, you’re more likely to eat healthily and say active throughout the day. Despite these benefits, there isn’t a “right” time to exercise.

There are plenty of benefits to an early morning workout. The first one is: you’ll get it out of your check-list and no one will take that ‘own time’ away from you. It will also be a way to kick-start your day, enhancing your metabolism, improving your energy levels and realizing the endorphins that will set the happy mood that will last for the rest of the day.

The body revolves around five basic movements. Shutterstock.

7. Five basic exercises

The human body revolves around five basic movements, which encompass nearly all of our everyday motions.” Meaning your workout needs just five exercises, one from each of these categories: push (pressing away from you), pull (tugging toward you), hip-hinge (bending from the middle), squat (flexing at the knee), and plank (abdominals, back and shoulders)

There are five exercises that are essential for functional fitness. Functional exercises are those that allow a person to perform the daily activities of life with optimum ease. Everyone needs to do them, beginners, seniors, and the best athletes, in order to perform at our best. They are compound exercises that work all of the major muscle groups in the body and you can do them anywhere.


stretch. Shutterstock.

8. Don’t forget to stretch

Many people neglect stretching, but it can make a difference in how your muscles respond to exercise. It warms your muscles, and warm muscle is more pliant. Begin your workout by stretching and elongating your muscles. If you don’t stretch before a workout, you’ll hurt yourself. The ACSM recommends stretching each of the major muscle groups at least two times a week for 60 seconds per exercise. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, which is needed to maintain a range of motion in the joints.

Some research shows that stretching doesn’t reduce muscle soreness after exercise, and other studies show that lengthening the muscle and holding the stretch immediately before a sprint may slightly worsen performance. However, research has shown that stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, the range of motion of your joints. Better flexibility may:

  • Improve your performance in physical activities
  • Decrease your risk of injuries
  • Help your joints move through their full range of motion
  • Enable your muscles to work most effectively
  • Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle
plank. Shutterstock.

9. Plank: 3 sets of 30 seconds

You take a pushup like position with the body’s weight on forearms, elbows, and toes. The arms should be directly under the shoulders with the entire body in a straight line and the back completely flat neither arched nor rounded. Plank is one of the best calorie-burning and beneficial exercises. A plank hold engages multiple muscles at once, thereby benefiting the core strength of your body.

Not just burning the fat around your abdomen area, they also work by giving you an improved posture, flexibility as well as a tighter tummy. Since planks work your core, that means they work basically the whole body, from your pelvic girdle to your shoulder girdle as well as your legs. The plank strengthens your spine, your rhomboids and trapezius, and your abdominal muscles, which naturally result in a strong posture as they grow in strength.

push-ups. Shutterstock.

10. Push-up: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

Traditional pushups are beneficial for building upper body strength. They work the triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders. When done with proper form, they can also strengthen the lower back and core by engaging (pulling in) the abdominal muscles. Pushups are a fast and effective exercise for building strength.

Lie on the floor face down and place your hands about 36 inches apart while holding your torso up at arms’ length. Lower down until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale. Breathe out and press your upper body back up to the starting position, squeezing your chest.

sit-ups. Shutterstock.

11. Sit-up variations: 3 sets of 15 repetitions

Situps work abdominals and obliques in addition to your hips, chest, and neck. They promote good posture by working your lower back and gluteal muscles. With a larger range of motion, situps target more muscles than crunches and static core exercises. By helping you build muscle, situps will help you burn more calories in the long run. Also, strong core muscles can help improve posture. Good posture can improve your appearance even without weight loss.

For the ‘original’ sit-up have your knees bent and the balls of your feet placed flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head. Tighten your abdominal muscles gently by drawing in your belly button to your spine. Keeping your heels on the ground and your toes flat to the ground, slowly and gently lift your head first, followed by your shoulder blades. Pull up from the floor reach a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for a second. Do crunches variations touching the opposite knee with extended arms.

squats. Shutterstock.

12. Squat: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

The most obvious benefit of squats is building your leg muscles – quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. These drills also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building, improving muscle mass. Squats, and all of their variations, are a great exercise for the whole body. Squats are a simple exercise but often performed with poor form. Here’s how to do them correctly.

  • Start with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Keeping your knees over your ankles, bend your knees, moving your butt back as if to sit in a chair.
  • Your knees and lower leg should form a 90-degree angle (if you can’t get to 90 degrees without compromising your form that’s OK).
  • Make sure your knees do not go over your toes.
  • Raise up and start again.
  • Do 12 reps, three sets, two to three times a week
lunges. Shutterstock.

13. Lunges: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

A lunge is a single-leg bodyweight exercise that works your hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core and the hard-to-reach muscles of your inner thighs. Lunges can help you develop lower-body strength and endurance. They’re also a great beginner move. The primary muscles targeted when you do lunges include the quadriceps in your thighs and the glutes in your hips and butt. The hamstring and calf muscles in your legs, your abdominal muscles, and your back muscles act as stabilizers during this exercise.

Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright and your front knee should stay above the front foot. Drive through the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to raise yourself back up. Step forward with your rear foot, repeating the lunge on the opposite leg.

side plank. Shutterstock.

14. Side plank: 3 sets of 30 seconds

The side plank is a great exercise for strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles, which don’t get worked during ab exercises such as crunches. You will hold your body on your side in straight position supported only by one arm and the side of one foot.

Turn onto your right side with your legs extended and your feet and hips resting on the ground and stacked on the top of each other. Place your right elbow directly under your shoulder to prop up your torso and align your head with your spine. Gently contract your core and lift your hips and knees off the floor. This strengthens your sides and deep ab. Roll onto the other side and repeat.

Yoga for all ages. Shutterstock.

15. Yoga in the morning

Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. Other physical benefits of yoga include increased flexibility. increased muscle strength and tone. If you prefer mornings, it’s really important to warm up slowly because your muscles are stiff and cold from sleeping. Make sure to do a gentle cardio warm-up to start, like walking or a gentle yoga flow series, before you do anything more intense like running or weight-lifting. 8 special health benefits of yoga in the morning that you would be surprised:

  • Bring about better sleep and balance hormones
  • Boost metabolism
  • You will be toned up
  • Reduce the need for caffeine
  • Make your body energized
  • Improve flexibility
  • Drain your lymph and boost immunity
  • Improve heart rate:
a sunrise hike with a friend. Shutterstock.

16. Hiking in the morning

If you love to get outdoors in the morning to let the sunlight and air wake me up naturally. Exposure to light first thing in the morning can help regulate your circadian rhythms, which can help you feel naturally energized throughout the day and sleep better at night. Some simple tips for being safe while on a hike before sunrise are to: Take a friend – With fewer people on the trails hiking with a friend may make you feel more comfortable and exposed. Take some water and snacks – You may be beating the heat by hiking in the early morning, but you will still need to hydrate.

Who needs a Stairmaster when you can head up a hill to work those glutes? I promise the view from the top of your hike will beat the view from the Stairmaster any day. No hills nearby? Don’t underestimate the value of uneven terrain in building stabilizer muscles around your feet, ankles, and knees. Worried about toning those arms take along some hiking poles or wear wrist weights. Also not hitting the snooze button is good for mental strength.

an early morning bike ride. Shutterstock.

17. Biking in the morning

Riding your bike is another good way to get in some morning cardio while also enjoying the outdoors. Cardio in the morning is helpful to get your body energized, and combining it with an outdoor activity only amplifies the effects. Consider riding your bike to work instead of driving or taking the train.

When you ride your bicycle in the morning, you not only burn fat during the session, but you also continue to burn fat at an accelerated rate after the ride. … While you sleep, your metabolic rate is slower than any other time of the day. Burning fat isn’t the only reason you should ride your bicycle in the morning.

an early morning jog. Shutterstock.

18. Jogging or walking

It’s best not to go for a full-on sprint first thing in the morning, but an early stroll or light jog can help kickstart your metabolism and give you a positive boost for the day. Going for a quick run first thing in the morning can help lower your blood pressure, relieve stress, and increase your energy levels. Walking keeps weight under control when combined with a healthy and balanced diet.

Walking burns calories and improves the metabolism of your body. Go for a walk every morning before breakfast, and you can burn up to 100 calories every one mile you walk. The morning is the best time to jog because your blood glucose levels are at their lowest so your body will have to tap into its fatty reserves for the extra energy that jogging requires. Remember, though, that jogging alone will not get rid of those extra pounds.

swimming at sunrise. Shutterstock.

19. Morning Swim

Scientifically, if you’re swimming to lose weight, swimming in the morning is the best. Not only will a swim in the morning before breakfast burn more fat, but it will raise your body’s metabolism for the rest of the day – so you burn more calories, faster, throughout the day (even while sitting at your desk). There are those who prefer to swim in the morning to be more lively throughout the day but for the evening persons, swimming at night is your best choice.

Those who usually can’t sleep at night could also use this as a way to be able to sleep better. As far as weight loss, even a leisurely pace of swimming will help a 185-pound person burn approximately 532 calories an hour according to Harvard Health Publishing. If you’re in the habit of hanging out at the pool three times a week and spend an hour swimming, you will lose almost half a pound each week.


be flexible. Shutterstock.

20. Let experience be your guide

Keep in mind that the length and intensity of your activity will determine how often and what you should eat and drink. For example, you’ll need more energy from food to run a marathon than to walk a few miles. And try not to include any new products in your diet before a long-duration sports event. It’s best to have previous experience to see how your system handles the food.

When it comes to eating and exercise, everyone is different. So pay attention to how you feel during your workout and to your overall performance. Let your experience guide you on which pre- and post-exercise eating habits work best for you. Consider keeping a journal to monitor how your body reacts to meals and snacks so that you can adjust your diet for optimal performance.

noticing the results. Shutterstock.

21. When will you see results?

Surely you’ve wondered when you will start seeing the results of your workouts: Generally, you can expect to notice results after two weeks. Your posture will improve and you’ll feel more muscle tone. It takes three to four months for the muscles to grow.

The time it takes for you to see and for others to notice weight loss results can vary from person to person. Many factors, including your starting size and your eating plan, can make a big difference. In general, however, many people can see results in one to two weeks when they stick to their plan.

a sense of accomplishment. Shutterstock.

22. You will feel good

During exercise, your brain makes more endorphins, the “feel-good” neurotransmitters behind a runner’s high. Morning exercise is a great way to start the day on a positive note. You’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment, giving you an optimistic outlook for the day. Exercising in the morning gives your body a healthy kind of fatigue and stress at the end of the day which results in deeper and better sleep.

Also, morning exercises affect not only the quality of your sleep it also helps you get longer rests. Note that exercise is a form of stress. Morning exercise has been found to have other benefits, however. According to the NIFS, working out in the morning can help increase your energy level for the day. Exercise increases oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, which can give you an energy boost.

gym bicycles. Shutterstock.

23. Is 10 minutes a day enough exercise?

A new study published in Neuropsychologia found that just ten minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise (they used gym bicycles) significantly improves brain function. Your mind and body won’t change overnight, but when you choose to rejoice in these small successes, you set yourself up to do more good the next day.

Short bursts of exercise lasting less than 10 minutes give you the same health benefits as slugging it out at the gym for hours. Researchers have found that even walking to the bus stop or cleaning your home can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol.

the effects of regular exercise. Shutterstock.

24. What happens to your body?

Exercising makes the body pump more blood to the muscles. This will increases blood flow, which is beneficial for your brain. Once you’re done with exercising your brain will release more endorphins, which will elevate your mood for the day. When you start moving, your body’s energy expenditure increases. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy. At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, are released in your brain. Essentially, when you start exercising, you feel better because your brain and body can do more.

You’re not winded walking upstairs. Your heart rate and blood pressure go down, which decreases your risk for a number of diseases and gives you more energy. When you exercise, heart rate increases to circulate more oxygen (via the blood) at a quicker pace. Eventually, this lowers resting heart rate in fit people. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new blood vessels, causing blood pressure to decrease in fit people. Exercise helps people lose weight and lower the risk of some diseases. Exercising regularly decreases a person’s risk of developing certain diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Exercise can help a person age well.

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources: