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Be Active Early, Exercise Longer

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The early riser gets the workout.

Engaging in physical activity is essential for both your physical and mental well-being. However, not everyone can find the time or motivation to start their exercise routine early in the morning. Due to various commitments, there might be insufficient time to work out before heading to work, or the quality of exercise might be compromised. Interestingly, a recent study has shown that those who rise early tend to have more effective workouts at the break of day.

The study, which was featured in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, involved 6,000 participants, consisting of both men and women who had previously taken part in health-related studies. They were asked to wear a basic activity tracker for a span of two weeks. Upon analyzing the energy expenditure data, researchers observed a notable difference: early risers were found to burn more energy compared to those who were more active at night. Men who rose early typically spent an additional 30 minutes exercising, while early-rising women tended to engage in an extra 20 minutes of physical activity.

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The lead researcher of the study, Laura Nauha, put forward a couple of possible explanations. One theory suggests that individuals who are more active later in the day might have surplus energy since engaging in outdoor activities at night may not be ideal. Another hypothesis points to sleep deprivation, indicating that individuals who stay up late and get inadequate rest may lack the extra energy required to deviate from their usual exercise routines.

“Those who are night owls might need to put in extra effort to maintain a regular exercise regimen,” Nauha concluded.

For those who prefer to be active during the night, there’s no need to worry, as all hope is not lost. Experts have determined that the key is not necessarily to exercise early in the morning but to do it when your energy levels are at their peak during the day. Whether it’s at the crack of dawn, right after lunch, or even straight after work (unusual as that may be), the most important thing is to engage in some form of physical activity. It’s all about finding the right time that suits your energy levels best.

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