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If you wait to perform cardio until later in the day, your metabolism will drop as soon as your head hits the pillow, limiting the number of 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 will hardly burn any extra calories, so ditch 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.
So how many more calories are you burning with morning cardio? Studies have suggested that youíll burn up to 300% more calories when performing morning cardio as opposed to evening cardio. This is because when you wake up, your fuel tanks are running on empty Ė 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 doesnít mean you shouldn't still watch what you eat. If you know that what youíre eating isnít good for you, then itís 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. So strap a watch to your wrist and begin switching between high intensity and low intensity levels every minute or so. With interval training, youíll work both your aerobic and anaerobic muscular system completely in as little as ten minutes which can free up more time for your day.
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. Transitions are tough, so start 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. Youíll 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.
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