Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weight Loss Tip #9 - Exercise Before Breakfast

So when is the best time to exercise for maximum weight loss or for health? 
Research has shown that people who exercise first thing in the morning are more likely to stick to the routine.  Why?  Because they have no reason to come up with an excuse later in the day.  The most common excuses are being too tired and having to work late.  Exercising in the morning also increases your metabolism and increases your energy for the whole day.  First thing in the morning means right after you get out of bed and before breakfast.  You should have an 8 ounce glass of water.  You haven't had anything to drink for 6 - 10 hours so even if you are not thirsty, your body is dehydrated.  People also tend to be stiffer in the morning so be sure to stretch for at least 5 minutes before and after exercising.  Don't have time in the morning?  Then set your alarm for an hour earlier.  Exercise should consist of alternating days of aerobics and weight lifting.  Aerobics need only be 20 - 30 minutes and may consist of fast walking, jump roping, hula hoop, or by using your favorite aerobics DVD.  If you have more time, playing tennis, racquetball, or biking is great exercise and more fun.  Weight lifting need only be 30 - 40 minutes long.  You don't need a gym or health club membership.  Just buy some dumbbells.  I own 8, 10, 15, and 20 pound sets.  If you've never lifted weights, you might want to start with 5, 8, and 10 pound sets.  Another good tip is to log your exercise time in a book.  That way you can see how your improving week to week.  A good book on exercise with daily progress report sheets is Body for Life by Bill Phillips.

The downside to exercising in the morning is injury.  Since people are stiffer in the morning, injury is more likely.  Exercising in the afternoon before dinner is the next best time.  Unfortunately, at this time, many people have little energy so it may be more difficult to get motivated.  If you have no problem getting motivated and prefer afternoons over mornings then by all means exercise in the afternoon.  The bottom line is exercising at any time (except within two hours of sleeping) is better then not exercising at all.      

Note:  Before starting any exercise or diet program, get your primary physician's prior approval. 

Image: Ambro /

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