The Benefits of Exercising in the Morning

The Benefits of Exercising in the Morning

(Last Updated On: April 21, 2019)

istock_000015294602xsmallIt seems like a daunting task to roll out of your warm bed and head outdoors to work out. On the other hand, there are advantages to exercising in the morning. Find out why lacing up your gym shoes at dawn is better than waiting until later in the day.

Exercising in the Morning Burns More Fat

When you exercise in the morning before eating, you force your body to burn fat as fuel. After an overnight fast, glycogen stores have been depleted, and your body looks for an alternative fuel source – fat. In addition, your insulin levels are low. As soon as you start to exercise, you turn on your sympathetic nervous system, which pumps out fat-burning hormones such as adrenalin. This combination of low insulin and high levels of adrenalin leads to greater fat burning than you’ll get after eating a carb-rich breakfast.

There’s a downside to exercising on an empty stomach. You may not be able to train as hard. If you do high-intensity exercise, your body burns carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. If you don’t have any available, you may not give your best performance. It’s also not a good idea to exercise on an empty stomach if you’re susceptible to low blood sugar.

You Get It Out of the Way

How many times have you told yourself you’ll exercise as soon as you get home from work and then find something interferes? When you exercise in the morning, you get it done and are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment – and you don’t have to worry about life intervening.

Other Benefits of Exercising in the Morning

If you exercise outdoors, the silence and stillness of the morning can be therapeutic – and a good stress reliever. Even if you exercise indoors, you can still enjoy exercising without the telephone interrupting or the doorbell ringing.

Starting the day with a good workout also gives you more energy to begin your day. Some people wake up and walk around in a fog for several hours until their body finally revs up. You won’t have this problem if you exercise first. Be sure to do a good warm-up to gradually heat up your muscles.

The Bottom Line?

Whether you exercise in the morning or later in the day, the most important thing is to do it – but consider the advantages of morning exercise – and give it a try.


MSNBC. “To Get Rid of Fat, Don’t Eat Before Workout”


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4 Things to Consider if You Exercise in the Morning

4 Types of People Who Benefit Most from Working Out in the Morning

Are Mental Blocks Keeping You from Getting Your Fittest?

Tips for Making the Transition to Morning Exercise

3 thoughts on “The Benefits of Exercising in the Morning

  1. Hmmm…interesting. I have to eat a little something (like a banana) before I workout in the morning otherwise I feel very sick while working out.

  2. I had read that if you exercise on an empty stomach, your body will cannibalize muscle or is this only true for anaerobic exercise?

  3. Aerobic exercise in the morning on an empty stomach should not cause your body to metabolize its muscle unless you did like three hours of cardio. Then you would see some negative results. However, the critical part is that AFTER the workout you fuel up well with some low glycemic index carbs and some high protein so that your post workout burn contiunues and you do not start metabolizing muscle tissue.

    Studies vary on whether anaerobic exercise on an empty stomach is a good idea or not. I think that typically if you eat high protein foods after you work out even if its strength training you can prevent your body from eating its own muscle.

    -a nutrition major

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