The debate is on about exercising on an empty stomach or fueling up before working out. New research tells us that there are more benefits for early exercisers than those who decide to work out during the day. If you are always in a rush though, you may think that you do not have enough time to get moving in the morning. That is not true at all. There are no rules about the need for long workouts – you can squeeze in as little as ten minutes at the start of the day.
Why workout before breakfast?
Before you start exercising, it is good to understand why morning workouts are well recommended among many health experts.
- No more excuses – The first reason for working out early in the morning is that it gets exercise out of the way already. Not that working out is a bad thing, but you can easily flake out on your exercise if you do not do it early on. Work and other commitments can take place during the day, leading you to sometimes forego your workout instead.
- Get a sense of achievement – Working out in the morning helps make sure that you actually do your exercise, and doing so provides you with a sense of achievement every time. This increases your chances of you moving towards your fitness goal.
- It reduces craving – A study done at Bringham Young University showed that participants who exercised early in the morning had lower brain response to images of food.
- It increases your energy – When you work out, your increase blood flow and oxygen to your vital organs and muscles. Your entire cardiovascular system works better, increasing your energy throughout the day.
- It keeps you alert – Do you rely on your caffeine fix each morning? Well, you do not need that anymore because exercise has excellent short-term and long-term benefits for the brain.
- You burn more calories – A study shoes that people who exercised on an empty stomach burns up to 20% more body fat than those who ate after exercising
What can you do?
You can do a full and effective workout with just ten minutes to spare every morning. Here are some things that you can try:
Cardio Blast – Cardio blast exercises involve quick movement without rest for ten minutes. You need to work out and amp your intensity to get the most out of your ten minutes. Do these during your ten minutes:
- Running in place
- Marking in place
- Jumping jack
- Squat jumps
Alternate these exercises for a minute until you reach ten minutes.
Zumba or Aerobics – Play your favorite aero-dance or Zumba video and start dancing.
Cycling – If you have a stationary bike at home, cycling for ten minutes can be a good workout. Cycle slowly for sixty seconds vigorously for the next and then alternate between slow and fast for ten minutes. Doing so pumps your heart rate faster cycling at a steady pace.
Jogging – A quick jog around the neighborhood kick-starts your day and allows you to get fresh air and sunlight. Start with a brisk walk moving forward to a jog. Slow down to a mild walk when you reach ten minutes.
Yoga – Ten minutes of yoga may not be much, but it provides a wide range of benefits for you. It releases feel good chemicals in your brain, relieves stress, improves posture and increases your energy levels throughout the day. Try an intense 10-minute sun salutation practice to start your day.
Muscle Toning – Here’s an overall muscle toning exercise that you can do in ten minutes, following easy routines. You will need resistance bands or small dumbbells for this. Do two sets of at least eight to twelve repetitions of these exercises, while resting for twenty seconds in between sets:
- Push Ups (or modified push-ups)
- Tricep Dips
- Shoulder Press
- Bicep Curl
- Lateral Raise
- Stomach Crunches
- Back Raise
Focused Muscle Toning – You can also spend your ten minutes in the morning to focus on specific parts of the body. You may want to focus on exercises for the abdominals or the arms for ten minutes.
Is ten minutes enough?
Ten minutes may not seem like enough, but little exercise is better than no exercise at all. If you are not in a rush, then strive to go beyond ten minutes each morning. Go for thirty to forty minutes if you can. If you only have enough time in the morning then stick with your ten minutes and try to do another round when you come home in the afternoon or evening.
As with any other kind of workout, do not start until you have consulted your doctor or health care provider. Of course, do not forget to warm up and cool down before and after your exercise.
When you’re done, follow up with hearty but healthy breakfast and good food choices throughout the day. You don’t want to waste all your effort by gorging on fatty and unhealthy foods right after.