Are you wondering if you should set an alarm in the morning to do some cardio?
There are benefits of cardio first thing in the morning. According to Men’s Health UK, increasing the heart rate in the AM can boost concentration and alertness levels. It will help you have a more productive day.
But does it help you get the gains you’re looking for? Do you need to work out on an empty stomach? Does morning cardio burn more fat? If you’re going to be sacrificing sleep, you want to be sure you’re reaping the rewards of your efforts.
Here’s what you need to know about early morning cardio benefits and why you should start setting that alarm.
5 Early Morning Cardio Benefits
Waking up early isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But these are just some of the reasons why early morning cardio is beneficial.
1. Reduction in Appetite
Brigham Young University discovered that 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning could reduce the emotional response to photos of food. They also found participants didn’t attempt to consume more to make up for the extra calories they burned.
2. Increased Overall Activity
The same study found that one of the other early morning cardio benefits is participants were more inspired to move throughout the day. The belief is that once the hurdle of exercising is overcome, it leaves people in a better state of mind during the day.
3. Greater Fat-Burning
The British Journal of Nutrition conducted a study of 10 men on the benefits of fasted morning cardio. This is when you exercise on an empty stomach. The research shows that working out before eating breakfast can burn up to 20% more fat than in afternoon or evening gym sessions.
4. Better Decision Making
A morning cardio session has been found to improve cognitive performance. This can include attentiveness and visual learning throughout the day. It was also discovered that decision-making improves, as is the confidence in making those choices.
5. Higher Energy
It’s common knowledge that regular exercise improves energy levels and reduces feelings of fatigue. The Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics journal found it can be as much as 65%. When your cardio workout takes place in the morning, this energy will last throughout the day.
Morning Cardio Vs. Evening Cardio
Many fitness professionals will argue that exercising consistently is what works best. However, the early morning cardio benefits outweigh breaking a sweat in the evening.
Related guide: The Benefits Of An Exercise Bike Workout
Some people have found that exercising in the evening can affect your sleep patterns. If you feel energised after a gym session, then it might take you a while to nod off. Morning cardio workouts have been found to do the opposite. Some studies show that you’ll sleep better when you get your cardio over and done with in the AM.
The Benefits of Morning Cardio on an Empty Stomach
Exercising in the morning comes with several benefits. But if you’re looking for an extra edge in your fitness routine, working out on an empty stomach may be the way to go. During fasted cardio, the body uses stored energy from fat reserves and carbohydrates to fuel physical activity. This means it’s possible to burn more fat and calories during a single fasted cardio session compared to exercise performed after eating.
Fasted cardio is not only beneficial for burning fat. It can also improve metabolism. Working out on an empty stomach triggers excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). It means you will continue burning calories even after your workout is over.
Common Questions About Early Morning Cardio Benefits
If you’re considering changing when you do your workout, you’ll want to ensure it will be worth your while. Here are some of the most common questions associated with the benefits of cardio first thing in the morning.
Should I do Fasted Cardio in the Morning?
Fasted cardio first thing in the morning is effective because your body conserves carb stores and mobilises fat for fuel overnight. It also breaks down amino acids into glucose. Fasted morning cardio uses this fat and amino acid to help you get the most out of your workout.
How Many Hours of Cardio Should I do Per Week?
Health professionals recommend you aim for two and a half hours of cardio per week.
How Much Cardio Exercise Per Day?
If you want to lose weight or maintain fitness, you should perform 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five times per week.
Does Morning Cardio Burn More Fat?
Studies from the British Journal of Nutrition and other researchers have found that fasted morning cardio can burn up to 20% more fat than eating a meal beforehand.
What to Eat Before and After Morning Cardio?
If you want a snack before your workout, stick to whole carbohydrates and proteins such as oatmeal, fruit, and wholegrain toast. If you did fasted cardio in the morning, eggs and toast are recommended. You could also try yoghurt and fruit, chicken and rice or salmon and sweet potato if you prefer.
Should You Set an Alarm?
The early morning cardio benefits outweigh waiting until the evening. From greater fat-burning benefits to improved sleep, you’ll achieve better outcomes if you wake up in the AM and break a sweat. Fasted morning cardio is also recommended by health professionals for those looking to burn more fat before eating breakfast.
Not only does it give you a physical boost, but it can also provide mental and emotional benefits. By scheduling in time for some early morning cardio, you may find yourself feeling more energised, positive, and motivated throughout the day. Plus, you can get your workout out of the way before life has a chance to get in the way.
The following is a guide to the best exercise equipment for cardio workouts: