Juggling a career, social calendar and family life is a huge task in itself and creating extra time for exercise can be difficult. Let’s face it, physical exercise is often the first activity to be compromised from our day-to-day routine. If we don’t avoid it all together, a 40-50 hour work week forces most of us to push physical exercise to the end of the day. While the topic has been widely debated, new research shows the time of day you choose to work out could make a significant difference in fat burn.
In a recent study, 10 young healthy men performed exercise sessions for four days before breakfast, after lunch and after dinner, with significant breaks in between exercise periods. The experiment was completed in a 2 month time period during which the men were asked to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The study concluded that fat oxidation over 24 hours was decreased when exercise was performed after lunch or dinner and more fat was broken down over 24 hours when exercise was performed before breakfast. While this is great news for early risers, for the rest of us who want to maximize our workouts, we’ll have to start setting those alarms even earlier! In addition, other benefits of working out early in the early am shouldn’t be ignored–improved clarity, concentration and energy throughout the day.