Want to shape up? Then get up early!
Friday 10 August 2012
Having spent years helping people reach their weight-loss goals, exercise expert Greg Landry is well-qualified to dish out advice to help make sure your weight loss journey a successful one.
Greg says: “If I had to pick a single factor that I thought was most important in a successful exercise or weight-loss programme, it would be to exercise first thing in the morning - every morning!
“Although your goal should be 30 to 60 minutes per day, some mornings, you may just be able to fit in a 10-minute walk, but that's still a lot better than doing nothing.”
So why mornings?
• Over 90 percent of people who exercise consistently, exercise in the morning. If you want to exercise consistently, odds are in your favour if you exercise first thing in the morning.
• When you exercise early in the morning, it jump starts your metabolism and keeps it elevated for hours, sometimes up to 24 hours! That means you're burning more calories all day long just because you exercised in the morning!
• When you exercise in the morning you'll be energised for the day! Personally, I feel dramatically different on days when I have and haven't exercised in the morning.
• Many people find that morning exercise regulates their appetite for the day; that they aren't as hungry and they make better food choices. Many people have told me that it puts them in a healthy mindset.
• If you exercise at about the same time every morning, and ideally wake up at about the same time on a regular basis, your body's endocrine system and circadian rhythms adjust to that.
Physiologically, some wonderful things begin to happen. A couple of hours before you wake, your body begins to prepare for waking and exercise because it "knows" it's about to happen. Why? Because it "knows" you do the same thing just about every day. You benefit from that in several ways:
a. It's much easier to wake-up. When you wake-up at different times every day, it confuses your body and thus it's never really prepared to awaken.
b. Your metabolism and all the hormones involved in activity and exercise begin to elevate while you're sleeping. Thus, you feel more alert, energised and ready to exercise when you do wake up.
c. Hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to muscles, etc.
• For many people, that appointed time every morning becomes something they look forward to. It's time they've set aside to do something good for themselves; to take care of their body, mind, and soul. Many find that it's a great time to think clearly, pray, plan their day, or just relax mentally.
• Research has demonstrated that exercise increases mental acuity. On average it lasts 4-10 hours after exercise! No sense in wasting that brain power while you're sleeping.
• Exercise first thing in the morning is really the only way to assure that something else won't crowd exercise out of your schedule. When your days get hectic, exercise usually takes a back seat!
• If finding time to exercise is difficult, anyone can get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier to exercise (if it's a priority in your life). If necessary, you can go to sleep a little earlier. Also, research has demonstrated that people who exercise on a regular basis have a higher quality of sleep and thus require less sleep!
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