If like many people, you're probably wondering when is the best time of day to exercise. The answer depends on many factors, but if you're looking to burn fat , new research suggests morning workouts might be your best bet.
Workout time and fat burning
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark set out to determine how exercising at different times of the day affects post-exercise metabolism and fat burning (the afterburn effect). . To do this, they examined the physical activity of mice at different times of the day.
Why mice? Because, as a press release accompanying the study explains, "mice and humans share many basic physiological functions, and mice are a well-established model for human physiology and metabolism."
Ultimately, the researchers wanted to determine the optimal time of day to exercise to speed up fat burning. To do this, they studied the adipose tissue of mice after two sessions of high-intensity exercise, one carried out at the start of the active phase (the equivalent of late morning in humans) and the other in beginning of the resting phase (equivalent to late evening in humans).
They found that "physical activity in an early active phase increased the expression of genes involved in adipose tissue breakdown, thermogenesis (heat production), and mitochondria in adipose tissue, indicating a higher metabolic rate. These effects were only seen in mice that exercised in the early active phase and were independent of food intake."
A higher metabolism during morning exercise
A higher metabolic rate , of course, helps burn fat more than a lower metabolic rate, which means morning workouts can help boost your fat-burning ability .
"Our results suggest that late morning exercise might be more effective than late evening exercise in terms of boosting metabolism and burning fat, and if so, they might prove useful for overweight people,” said Professor Juleen R. Zierath of the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery and the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute in the press release.
Zierath added: "The right timing appears to be important for the body's energy balance and for improving the health benefits of exercise, but further studies are needed to draw reliable conclusions about the relevance of our results for the man.
Other Fat Burning Tips
While this research is promising and may encourage people to exercise early in the day , the truth is that it is beneficial to exercise at any time of the day. In fact, it's important to adopt a fitness program that works for you and your schedule. If this means that exercising in the afternoon, evening, or night fits your life better than in the morning, you should do your exercises at that time instead.
If burning fat is your ultimate goal, here are some ways to improve your ability to lose fat from your belly and other body parts:
- Take advantage of natural metabolism boosters, such as sleep and rest, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training, and avoiding inflammatory foods.
- Exercise on an empty stomach.
- Add natural fat burners to your routine, such as conjugated linoleic acid, green coffee beans, grapefruit essential oil, green tea and other herbal teas, protein supplements and foods, and foods and probiotic supplements.
- Eat more fat-burning foods, such as high-fiber foods, apple cider vinegar, bone broth, and more.
- Incorporate more fat-burning workouts including Tabata, HIIT, barre, CrossFit, spinning/cycling, cross-country skiing, sprinting, ellipticals, burst training, rowing and swimming. Playing sports like football, basketball, soccer and volleyball is also very effective in burning fat.
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid processed and unhealthy foods.