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Morning Cardio

  • Written by  Ash Phelps

Morning-CardioMorning-CardioThere are some things every man should wake up to in the morning: a beautiful lady, breakfast in bed and his favorite newspaper waiting for him. But a fit man should also be waking up to his morning cardio routine. It’s understandable that some men don't consider a brisk, morning jog very desirable, but a man should start his day as he desires the rest of it to go. Every muscle, every sense and every thought should be vying for 100%. Anything less and you can be sure that there will be something unexpected that will overtake you. The fact is that performing a cardiovascular workout first thing in the morning sets you up for the day ahead.

 

Accept It

Performing a morning cardiovascular activity (i.e. running, cycling, rowing) will wake you up more than a turbo-jetted shower. Endorphins released into your body give you a natural ‘high’ that will make you feel positively euphoric. Your stress levels will be reduced, your mood will improve and blood circulation will increase throughout your body. All in all, you’ll be ready to kick start your day before you’ve even touched your breakfast.

Realistically speaking, most men aren’t morning people; so hitting the tarmac after only a few minutes of waking up is not a pleasant thought. No matter what distance you run or how hard you push yourself, starting the morning with a high intensity cardio workout will always be the hardest hurdle to jump. There’s no simple answer to getting started. Morning cardio is just something that you are going to have to learn to incorporate into your lifestyle. The good news is that just like with anything new, once you get into the routine, it will become second nature

Finding the Motivation

Remember why you want to work out in the first place. If you want results you are going to have to work for them. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. You’ll be proud in knowing that while others may still be asleep or slowly moping around their homes with a coffee in one hand and outdated ties in the other, you have already reduced your body fat, helped your heart and significantly raised your energy levels.

Proof-Positive

Cardio in the morning is better than cardio performed at any other time of day because morning cardio will keep your metabolism elevated for hours after the session is over. When your metabolism is high, you’ll burn more calories. It’s that simple. Even a few hours later while sitting at your desk twiddling your thumbs, your body is continuing to burn calories at an elevated rate because of your early cardio session.

If you wait to perform cardio until later in the day, your metabolism will drop as soon as your head hits the pillow, which will limit how many hours your metabolism is elevated. While you are asleep, your metabolic rate is lower than at any other time in the day, which means that you’ll burn hardly any extra calories. So say goodbye to those late night cardio sessions for good. Another reason to choose morning cardio over night cardio is that an elevated heart rate will make it harder to get to get sleep, which, whether you realize it or not, is putting you a step behind for the following day.

The Numbers

So how many more calories are you burning with morning cardio? Studies have suggested that you’ll burn up to 300% more calories when performing morning cardio. This is because when you wake up, your fuel tanks are running on empty – all of the food you ate yesterday has been digested. If you hold off on breakfast and kick start your day with some cardio, your body has no choice but to immediately burn off secondary energy sources: body fat. A study performed by Kansas State University has shown that if cardio is performed during the morning hours, rather than any other time in the day, one kilogram of fat will be oxidized more quickly. After a 12 hour fast, 67% of the total energy used will be fat you burned off. Exercises done later in the day can only burn up to 50%. This doesn’t mean if you do morning cardio you don’t still have to watch what you eat. If you know that what you’re eating isn’t good for you, then it’s time you break the habit and create a healthier lifestyle.

Make it Count

While performing morning cardio, and to ensure that you burn off the maximum number of calories, you should try incorporating intervals. A study by the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that more calories are burnt in short bursts of high intensity exercise, rather than if performed at a slower, longer pace. In fact, interval training has the same effect as continuous training. So strap a watch to your wrist and begin switching between high intensity and low intensity levels every minute or so. With interval training, and in as little as ten minutes, you’ll work both your aerobic and anaerobic muscular system completely and you will have freed up more time within your day.

So, with up to 300% more calories burnt, and a surge in your metabolism, morning cardio proves beneficial from the moment you start. The research is there, the facts are conclusive and the rewards are not only immediate, but abundant as well. Tomorrow morning is as good a time as any for you to begin a morning cardio routine, and the transition should be initiated by only assigning one or two days to cardio per week. The hardest part is actually doing it, so begin by setting yourself realistic goals and increase them with time. You’ll find that your mind, body and spirit will all be in unison and, as a result, your performance, professional or otherwise, will reap the rewards.

Article By: Ash Phelps

 



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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 22:04

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