When Do You Exercise? Why the Time Matters

Many adults squeeze in workouts throughout the day, but research seems to say that although this is better than nothing, it may limit fat-burning potential. Research now indicates that people who exercise before breakfast shed twice as much fat as those who fuel up with food first. We'd all perhaps be better off if we maximize the benefits of any fitness routine by scheduling workouts before our first meal, whether we're racking up miles on the treadmill or hosting a solo dance party in the living room.

Many people tackle workouts on their lunch break or after dinner, these days, but this probably isn’t ideal for those trying to shed fat. Experts are now saying that working up a sweat before breakfast can help us burn twice as much fat as those who schedule post-meal fitness routines. Find out why a pre-breakfast workout has these benefits, below.


Why Exercise Timing Matters

While we sleep, the body works hard to regulate glucose levels, also known as blood sugar, but there may still be a spike upon waking. This is especially true for those who have diabetes. Eating breakfast makes glucose increase even more, which can impact how much fat a body burns.

Why is that? Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help the body stabilize glucose levels. When insulin levels are low, the body burns more fat because it doesn’t need to store it for later use. That’s why postponing the first meal until after a workout helps thebody burn up to twice as much fat as folks who exercise after breakfast. The body also produces extra glucose-transporting proteins when we exercise before eating, which helps ensure muscles get the nutrients they need so maybe exercising is also easier then, too.


Burning Fat Doesn’t Always Equal Weight Loss

It’s possible to lose weight by exercising before breakfast, but the effects might be short-lived without other dietary or lifestyle changes. However, it's still possible to experience other benefits, including a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. When people don't exercise regularly, they often become less sensitive to the glucose-regulating effects of insulin, so their bodies react by producing extra insulin.

If you want to lose weight, make sure you choose high-fiber, low-fat foods rich in nutrients when you do eat breakfast. Fuel up on protein and low-carb veggies, and watch out for sugary snacks that spike glucose levels. Eat breakfast slowly and take time to savor each bite rather than rushing through the meal. This helps the body release important hormones that tell the brain you’ve had enough to eat.


What if You Can’t Exercise Before Breakfast?

Exercise has numerous benefits no matter when it's done, so don’t panic if it's not possible to find time for a workout first thing in the morning. Physical activity, when it occurs regularly, can boost physical and mental health. Regular workouts may mean improved cognitive function, fewer mood swings and stronger bones among other things such as weight loss and increased self-esteem.Try to strive for pre-breakfast workouts whenever possible. It may not lead directly to visible changes in appearance, but it helps the body in a host of other ways, and that should be the focus. It can keep many of us from developing serious conditions, such as diabetes, no matter when we do it. So consider adopting an early morning fitness routine if at all possible to maximize the benefits, but no matter what, get daily exercise no matter the time.

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3/16/2020 6:37:50 PM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
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