Early risers are the first to seize the day, but they might also be tapping into some fat-busting perks. Night owls take note: new research has shown that setting a 6am alarm could put you on the fast track to ditching the dad bod. Well, you’ll still have to get moving during these new rising hours to actually lose weight fast.
In a study published in Obesity, researchers combed through data from 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 gathered as part of a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the CDC. They looked at more than 5,000 participants, tracking their exercise patterns at various parts of the day.
The result? Those jumping into action early in the AM had a lower BMI and waist circumference than the late bloomers. They also had healthier diets. Unexpectedly, however, the early birds tended to spend more time being sedentary. That might be because they need time to recover from that 5am CrossFit session.
The Best Time to Get Moving
While timing your workouts could be important, one important truth emerged from this study: exercising at any time still trumps skipping your workouts if you want to lose weight fast. However, the authors said there could be benefits to shifting your workouts to the morning hours, especially if you’ve hit a plateau.
But ramping up your metabolism is just one of the many benefits of joining the so-called 5am club. Not sold? Here are a few more reasons you should snag that AM membership:
1. Bolsters Your Mind
One study found that night owls were more likely to experience anxiety and depression than early birds. However, there’s a quick fix: further research found that shifting your sleeping schedule forward by two hours could undo most, if not all, of the damage.
2. Improves Cognitive Function
A 2008 study found that university students who went to bed early (and subsequently woke up earlier) tended to score significantly higher on tests and assignments than those who burned the midnight oil. Two years later, another study found that morning people tend to have strong problem-solving skills and tend to be more likely to land high-paying jobs.
3. Helps You Eat Less
Researchers found that late sleepers consumed 248 calories more per day (on average) than those who got up earlier. Night owls also eat twice as many takeaways and half as many vegetables and fruits.