Why you should go to the gym right after waking up
THE early bird catches the worm, or so we're told.
And it turns out, that really might be the case for those vowing to get fit this New Year.
The best time to get to the gym is bright and early, according to one expert.
Personal trainer Keith McNiven, from Right Path Fitness in London, said by starting the day right you are more likely to stick to your fitness goal - and see results.
He told The Sun Online: "Working out in the morning sets the whole day off on a high.
"We are able to be more productive throughout the day from the motivation we have in the morning."
Here Mr McNiven gives five reasons to set the alarm clock early and get out the door to start your day in the gym.
1. YOU'LL BUILD MUSCLE FASTER
Kickstarting your fitness regimen with morning workouts could help you build muscle faster.
And it's all thanks to your hormones.
In the early hours of the day, levels of vital hormones - like testosterone - that build muscle mass are higher.
By exercising in the morning, you can take advantage of this, Mr McNiven said.
"You're taking advantage of these naturally circulating hormones, as they're peaking, rather than later in the day when they're lower," he added.
2. BOOST METABOLISM
We all know metabolism is key when it comes to shedding pounds.
That's because it's all about burning energy and calories from food.
How fat you are, your age, gender and genes all play a role in how fast - or slow - a person's metabolism is.
But having a sluggish one is no excuse. You can give even the slowest of metabolisms a kick in the right direction, and the key is exercise.
"Without a doubt, exercise can boost your metabolic rate," Mr McNiven said.
"The degree depends on your current fitness level and the kind of activity you choose."
But one top tip is to exercise first thing.
"All other things being equal, working out in the morning will help to boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories for the rest of the day," Mr McNiven said.
The phenomenon is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, and allows the body to burn calories even when its stopped exercising and is in rest mode.
3. IT'S QUIETER
It might sound like an obvious one, but the earlier you get to the gym the less likely you are to fight the crowds.
Trying to do a tri-set is all but impossible in a packed gym.
There's always a guy over there wanting to work on his glutes or a girl trying to steal your dumbbells.
But get to the gym before the rush and you'll be the one laughing.
"It's much easier to complete these types of training programs when the facility is less crowded," said Mr McNiven.
"That just happens to be in the morning."
4. YOU CAN DODGE DISTRACTIONS
It may take a cup of coffee in the morning to get you up and out the door, but there will be few distractions en route to the gym at that time of day.
Fast forward to after work, and you will be plagued by distractions just waiting to sabotage your workout.
Less motivation, fatigue, the work gang going for a drink, a sick child, an overdue report for work or school - you name it, it'll likely distract you after a day at work.
"If you've already completed your workout, you can simply roll with whatever obstacles come up later in the evening without feeling bad that you missed the other day," Mr McNiven said.
"You're far more likely to be consistent with your training if you get it done early in the day rather than waiting for later."
5. QUALITY TIME
The beauty of getting hot and sweaty first thing is, it's done, dusted and over before work!
And that means come home time, you can do just that - get home to your family.
Mr McNiven said: "Nothing is more important than family.
"Clearly there's a trade-off between the amount of time you spend in the gym and the amount of time you can spend at home.
"Which is why slicing off a small segment, like you can in the morning, is usually better than in the evening, when you have to fight rush hour, navigate a crowded gym, get home to shower, and allot whatever time is left to your family.
"The [math] simply works better if you get your workout done in the morning."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished here with permission.