Rise and shine! Research suggests that anyone who wakes up with the sun and cranks out an early morning workout is doing their body a favor.

Running on Empty

A handful of small studies have shown that weight loss is more pronounced when you exercise in the morning on an empty stomach. It is believed that exerting energy on an empty stomach sets your body for a more intense fat burn that lasts throughout the day.

While this may work for some people, it’s important to pay attention to your body when exercising on an empty stomach. If you are feeling lightheaded or excessively tired when working out, stop immediately. Some people’s bodies need the extra calories and liquids to get the most of their daily workout.

Your Circadian Rhythm

Not everyone who exercises wants to lose weight, so why should they exercise in the morning? Simple. Morning workouts help to align your internal clock. Starting your day with a heart-pumping workout will give you more energy than an extra few minutes of shut-eye.

The results are even more pronounced for those who exercise outdoors. Starting your day with natural sunlight tells your body that it’s time to start your day. Anyone who travels between time zones could use this trick to minimize jet lag.

Starting with Motivation

It’s not uncommon to get trapped in a cycle of saying “I’ll start on Monday” every week. Or to have the best intentions of working out after work, only to have your energy sucked away by everything you do throughout the day.

Committing to start your day with a rejuvenating workout eliminates the possibility of life getting in the way. The workout could even provide you with more energy and motivation to succeed in all your other tasks.

Doing What Works for You

If your favorite group fitness class is only held later in the day, that’s perfectly fine! To fit a quick workout into your morning schedule, you could take a short, brisk walk around the block.

We all have busy schedules, but consistency is key. If you can’t squeeze in a morning workout, don’t fret. Working out in the afternoon or evening is certainly better than skipping your workout altogether.