Cardio 1st thing in the morning? Opinions?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by racketcollector, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. racketcollector

    racketcollector New User

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    Hey folks--just trying to get some opinions on this topic. Has anyone out there tried cardio 1st thing in the am on an empty stomach vs later in the day after a meal or two? Any appreciable difference in weight loss? I know the Bill Phillips BODY-4-LIFE program believes in this highly--then again, I also saw reports on a study in Mens Health that it doesnt really make that much difference WHEN you do your cardio... Thanks.
     
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  2. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Well, I followed Body for Life program (loosely) this summer. I did my cardio and weight lifting early in the morning on an empty stomach (just a glass of water) and I did feel like I burned more fat than when I used to work out after work. I went from 195 to 180 in 12 weeks. I say I loosely followed the progam because for weights, I did not do the five reps that he recommends, instead I followed the program in Core Performance. Anyway, just my experience, don't have any science to back it up.
     
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  3. danbsb

    danbsb Guest

    cardio in the am

    i also like cardio in the am but if u are like me and cant get overheated in the am before work then i suggest something like yoga in the am..... i recently bought on t w the yoga dvds from sybel boss she is the yoga teacher for sharpova and haas and others i have been using them in my office and on the road when i am traveling in my lap top and i getting a great stretch,strenghting, balance and core workout and i can still go directly to work without having to get a shower then i can do cardio when i have more time but i agree if u can do it first i like it also thanks
     
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  4. gmlasam

    gmlasam Hall of Fame

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    Its preference in my opinion. I'm a morning person, and I'm fully energized in the morning. So I prefer exercising and playing tennis in the morning. A good work out in the morning certainly helps me go throughout the day and helps me manage work stress.

    I run 3 miles or go to a spinning class for one hour for cardio, and the next day I do weights, and repeat the routine the next day.

    This workout routine works out for me

    There were some studies that show doing cardio can help burn fat much quicker on an empty stomach.
     
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  5. J D

    J D Rookie

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    There has been a lot of research done on early morning work outs. Studies show that the benefit is approximately the same as at other times of the day, with early morning workouts achieving slightly less training results (speed, strength, and endurance) because the average person's body only performs at about 90% of peak efficiency early in the morning. Unfortunately, early morning exercisers were 32% more likely to suffer a serious training injury.

    Still, an early morning workout is much healthier than no workout. And, I believe I remember reading that early morning exercise does elevate the metabolism more for the rest of the day than later work outs, meaning it would probably be the best time if the main goal is to burn calories.
     
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  6. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

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    I hate the morning stuff -- I have an old, cranky back and the more the day goes on, the better I feel. I find that early morning exercise increases the chances if injury (dehydration from sleeping? Lack of flexibility? Rushing before work?); I also find that running, lifting weights, playing tennis, are excellent stress relievers and provide catharsis after the tough, stressful, bread-winning part of the day and pave the way for solid sleep.
     
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  7. vin

    vin Professional

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    The idea behind morning cardio is that you haven't eaten and have less of an energy supply and will be more likely to burn fat.

    It sounds logical, but who knows if it's scientifically correct. I'm sure if you search the internet enough, you can find some evidence indicating if it's true or not.

    The key to weight loss is very simple - burn more calories than you consume every day. The key here is to watch your diet, to exercise, and to do both in a fashion that you'll be able to adhere to for a long period. Based on that, I wouldn't put too much weight (no pun intended) on when you do your cardio. Just do it whenever convenient so that you are likely to stick with it.
     
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  8. Trey

    Trey Rookie

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    Personally I doubt it will make that much of a difference when you do your cardio. The most important thing is to pick a time that you can consistently do it. Morning, afternoon or night isn't going to make a difference unless the time is convenient and you stick to your routine.

    I do mine early in the morning around 5 am. I first start out walking on the treadmill for 15 minutes while I sip coffee. :) I then run for 15 minutes. After that I go on the rowing machine for 20-30 minutes. If I have time I lift weights for another 15-30 minutes.
     
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  9. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I've read all about morning cardio speeding up the metabolism and burning more calories. Not sure if it's true, but I find that the trade off in giving up 1.5 to 2 hours sleep for the POSSIBILITY of a more efficient cardio workout, is too much. The sleep is more important for me, just as long as I get the workout in SOMETIME during the day...
     
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  10. mlee2

    mlee2 Rookie

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    Morning cardios are supposed to be the easiest way to lose weight as some have swuggested but remember to go light, REALLY light at first. Even a moderate workout can feel like an intense workout without any breakfast and the timing of your workout. It can also ruin your muscles as your body is still in hibernation mode.
     
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  11. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

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    I have also read somewhere that if you do cardio in the morning it will raise your metabolism for the rest of day hence burn more calorie..It does sound logical....

    I know I feel much more energetic after 30 min biking or so, so if I could I wuold prefer morning...But I would be cautious not to push myself too hard.
     
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  12. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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  13. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Ah, Phil, my brother in common sense. AM workouts DO burn more fat; there is decent research to support this theory. The liver is depleted of glycogen in the morning and the muscles are somewhat depleted. With no other energy source, the body will turn to fat (circulating triglycerides, stored fat if you exercise long enough) for its energy needs. Sounds great, right? Yes you do burn more fat, IN RELATION TO CARBOHYDRATES. But will you burn more calories? This is truly your ultimate goal. And the answer is NO. Why? Because your workout will suffer and chances are you will: 1. workout with less intensity 2. workout for a shorter duration. Our bodies prefer and very efficiently burn carbs for energy. Fat is tough to burn. It requires a great deal more of oxygen to metabolize. Oxygen, that substance you are sucking in while developing that side stitch running up the hill. Use more oxygen=be less efficient. Use less oxygen=be more efficient=workout longer=burn more kcal=look better in a speedo. If the morning is the only time you can do it, go for it. If performance is your goal, eat a 1/2 pnut butter sandwich and some OJ, wait at least 1- 1 1/2 hours, then bust it out. There is good research showing that our peak time to exercise is 3 hours and 11 hours after waking.
     
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  14. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Great comments, Kevin T.
     
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  15. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Sounds good to me, Kevin T. However, for me, if I was to eat and then wait 90 minutes before working out, that would entail getting up at around 5:15 a.m. Like you said, the intensity and duration of such a workout would be reduced...I need the shut-eye!
     
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  16. gmlasam

    gmlasam Hall of Fame

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    What time do you go to bed, and how many hours of sleep do you get a day?
     
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  17. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    gmlasam - I go to bed between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. and wake-up at around 8. So around 6 to 7 hours a night. I cannot go to sleep any earlier-otherwise, I will be up for half the night.
     
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  18. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    Cut down on fatty foods, soft drinks, potato chips,do-nuts,pizzas, burgers and beverages.
     
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  19. CoASH

    CoASH Rookie

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    HIIT
     
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  20. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

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    As we age, our back disks begin to dry out and shrink, hence the increase in back problems after 25 years of age. Gaps shrink, nerves get pinched and tolerances are reduced. Around 55 things settle down again. So most back problems occur between 25-55. Interestingly, back disks do rehydrate somewhat at night while we sleep. Unfortunately this puts a lot of hydraulic pressure on the disk and vertebrae first thing when you awake. Thats why you always hear the story about someone who got out of bed, stood up and their back "went out".

    Exercising within 1-3 hours of waking puts you at a greatly increased risk of rupturing a disk or fracturing a vertebral end plate. Good news is about 90% of the excess moisture leaves the disk in the first 1-2 hours after waking. So, after 25, the worst time to exercise aggressively is in the morning when you first get up. Jogging, weight lifting, even bending over and straightening up quickly can cause a problem.

    A small percentage of the population never will have back problems. They seem to be the ones who encourage bad behavior in the rest of us. Other joints also loosen up and lubricate as we move about.
    If you are over 25, exercise appropriately after you've been up 2-3 hours and you greatly reduce the risk of injury. Or keep pretending you are 18 and go for it. It keeps the orthopedic and sports medicine industries printing money.
     
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  21. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Very interesting, Netman. Thanks.
     
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  22. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I second that, Netman. Now, other than being lazy, I have a LEGIT excuse for refusing to work out in the a.m.!
     
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  23. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

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    Netman speaks the truth! My degenerative lumbar region hates mornings with a passion, and I live in a hot climate dominated by morning people ... if this theory is really true, I guess I should look forward to getting a few years older. Problem is, the vertebrae are arcing, growing spurs, etc., trying to fuse naturally. When the disks are completely gone, fusion occurs, and that is not conducive to running, playing tennis, and other pursuits.
     
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  24. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

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    bcaz, Try this little exercise after you've been up and moving for about an hour or so in the morning. Its a variation of the cat stretch. Get down on your hands and knees on a stable surface. Now let your stomach sag, then arch your back, then sag, arch, etc. Don't go for a full stretch in either direction, just a gentle movement and don't hold it at either point. Sag down, then immediately arch, then sag immediately, etc. What you are doing is "pumping" excess fluid out of the lumbar disks and loosening up the joints. Do it very gently and I can't repeat enough don't exaggerate the arch in your back at either point. Only need to do it 5-6 times. More provides no additional benefit. It will really help take pressure off the lumbar spine and is safe for even the crankiest spine.
     
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  25. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

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    Thanks, Netman -- the cat stretch one is part of my regular routine, and believe me, I've tried many therapeutic exercise regimens in the last 15 years; I've seen surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers, and I try to keep up with new developments. Your version is a gentle, subtle variation and I will try it out.

    I run, I lift weights, I play tennis, I work a lot, I don't sleep enough. My originally prescribed back routine times out to like 55 minutes a day; I got it down to about 33 minutes, with an abbreviated version clocking about 21-22 minutes. I was told to do it every day of my life or get cut on.

    Needless to say, I cheat more and more as time goes on. Every day without an episode is another temptation to skip the routine. Realistically, consider:

    We are "supposed" to work hard -- maybe 10 hours/day or more -- spend as much time as possible with our families and friends ... take care of our bodies ... honor our maker ... give to our communities ... read and improve our minds ... play tennis ... laugh, cry, make love ... goof off a little ... and, oh yeah, sleep like 7-9 hours a day. If we went into a different orbit and had 40 hours a day, I'd still be whining ...

    My point about the early morning thing is reinforced by your suggestion. I don't have an extra hour in the morning to hang around and get loose for an hour before easing into the day with another 1/2 hour of back exercises, another hour of aerobic/running, etc., another hour to cool down, shower, eat, dress, drive to work ... that would get me out of bed at 3 am, and it's past 11:30 pm already ... color me a night person, but to be fair, my back is at least partially responsible ...

    Anyway, your suggestion is a good, efficient short-cut with benefits ... thanks for posting it.
     
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  26. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

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    bcaz, Get Dr. Stuart McGill's book "Low Back Disorders" and read it cover to cover. This is 30+ years of evidence-based info on back problems, not the word of mouth and approximations of most Docs and PTs. McGill runs one of the top biomechanical labs in the world up in Waterloo, Ontario. He is the guy professional athletes go to when everything else has failed. "Low Back Disorders" will not only show you how to get the most out of your bad back, it will teach you why things are the way they are and show how most of the standard PT recommended exercises, stretches and weight routines actually do damage, not heal. I use advice from this book daily and the results have been fantastic.

    His other book ,"Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance", is targeted more toward healthly backs. Its a good follow on once your back is ready for the exercises in the book.

    This is his web site:

    http://www.backfitpro.com

    Good luck.
     
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  27. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

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    Netman, thanks very much for the advice and the McGill link. I will look into it. I've actually been very fortunate with the back in recent times, but the reality is that it is a lifelong management issue. So, those of us with cranky backs should keep open minds and be willing to make adjustments over time. Meanwhile, I'm delighted to be playing tennis and I'm thankful I'm not (pause to knock on the wood desk again) among those who have blown out a knee along the way or otherwise have bad pins. My wheels are still intact and ready to roll for many thousands of miles to come.
     
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