Do you include cardio sessions in your weekly/monthly workout plans? If you’re not doing any form of cardio at all, including it in your training at any time of day will help increase your cardiovascular endurance and overall fitness. An added bonus: you’ll also burn body fat in the process.
If fat loss is your main goal, though, you should try to include some form of cardio first thing in the morning before you have breakfast. Why?
Our bodies can use different sources of energy depending on the time of day. One of them is stored body fat – usually hard to burn, but it can be done.
The science of storing (and burning) body fat
Energy is stored in our body in two forms. One of them is glycogen – a complex molecule of glucose stored in the liver. When we’re asleep, this storage slowly gets depleted because our internal organs use glycogen (glucose) as a source of energy. That’s why our glycogen levels and blood sugar levels are lower in the morning.
So, what happens if we decide to do cardio in this state?
Your body switches to its second source of energy: stored body fat. If you decide to have breakfast before your cardio session, you’ll still burn body fat, but less of it.
Doing cardio in the morning is also a good idea because it raises your metabolism rate and helps you burn fat even after you’re done with your workout. Nighttime cardio has the same effect, but only until you stay awake. Your body’s metabolism drastically slows down when you go to sleep.
How to motivate yourself to do cardio
Don’t feel like waking up even earlier? We feel ya, but working out has some benefits that just may make your whole day better:
- Exercise releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. This means you’ll feel more positive and energetic throughout your day. Endorphin also helps lower your stress levels.
- Reward yourself for creating and sticking to a healthy habit! You know you feel good after you successfully do “the hard thing”. Try installing a habit tracker app and challenge yourself to enforce this new habit. Once a week is a great start.
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