11 Effective Morning Exercises for Weight Loss

Be it cycling, running, or yoga, begin the day with a workout to keep your mind and body fit.

Medically reviewed by Madhu Sharma, RD Madhu Sharma Madhu SharmaRD
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
 • 

Morning exercises for weight loss help us shed fat, be energetic, and start the day on the right note. They are useful for people who have work or school till late evening. Working out in the morning will also help you sleep at the right time and get adequate rest. You will start your day with a super-charger workout regimen and be proactive throughout the day. It will also help you get the morning sun, which is important for vitamin D synthesis. Overall, morning exercises will help you lose weight, strengthen bones, and improve your mental health too. Read on to learn about the 10 best morning exercises you can do for weight loss. Scroll down!

Why Should We Work Out In Mornings?

  • It keeps our body healthy.
  • It helps to eliminate toxins from the body that have built up and accumulated overnight.
  • It rejuvenates and recharges our body, gearing it up for maximum performance.
  • Studies show that people who exercise in the morning burn up a higher percentage of fat.
  • Engaging in physical activity in the morning increases your core temperature for the rest of the day. That means that you not only burn fat during your workout but also throughout the day.
  • When we do something early in the day, we are more likely to be consistent about it as nothing can come between us and our fitness goals. Right?
protip_icon Did You Know?
According to a study comparing morning exercise and evening exercise, people who exercised in the morning seemed to go to bed earlier at night and woke up sooner to exercise (2).

What Should My AM Workout Comprise Of?

Your morning workout routine to lose weight could be anything starting from running to swimming, dancing, skipping, HIITs, jogging, walking—anything to sweat it out! It is all about that as a fit girl what do you feel like doing that morning. But for those trying to lose weight, you have to be a little more concerned about what will burn off the most calories and how. So here is a guide to your AM workout for weight loss.

Cardio

Cardio exercises are the most important when one is trying to lose weight. The first step to weight loss is burning calories, right? It is a fact that doing cardio first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, helps your muscles to oxidize the accumulated fatty acids in the body. In simple words, you will burn the stored fat off the body and not the calories that you have just consumed.

11 Best Morning Exercises for Weight Loss:

Here is a list of the 11 best cardio exercises to do in the morning, which in turn will help you to lose weight for a healthy and fit body.

1. Go For A Run Or Walk:

Running or walking is a morning exercise for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Though you can run on the treadmill, try going outside as the fresh air, free from pollution provides good things for your heart, lungs and mind. It helps you to connect with nature.

Carla, a vlogger, was overweight her entire life that she attributed to hating walking.. She decided to start walking and ended up in pain for three weeks. She then got her proper form by starting with 15 minutes and increasing 5 minutes daily until she reached 1 hour. She emphasizes the importance of stretching after you walk. She says, “You need to stretch after you use the muscles in your body… this really helps the consistency because it stops you feeling terrible the next day…Stretching, for me, changed my walking game. Knowing my form and stretching were the two most important things that helped me with walking (i).”

2. Biking:

This is another cardio exercise to burn calories. Biking helps not only to burn calories but also gives effective endurance training to those leg muscles. While running affects mainly your calf muscles and shins, biking works well for the thighs. You can vary your speed between normal and all-out. It helps in building endurance. It is best to go for cycling in the morning to avoid traffic.

3. Circuit Training:

Circuit training is a morning exercise for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

It is basically a form of body conditioning that targets strength building and muscle endurance through high intensity aerobics. The idea is to do all the exercises that complete one circuit and then repeat the circuit again, taking time only to sip water between the circuits. You can do this with or without equipment. There are many circuit examples available in the form of DVDs and YouTube videos. Personally I like following the Jillian Michaels’ DVD for circuit training, Cassey Ho cardio videos and workouts by Bob Harper, all of which are available on YouTube.

Some of my favorite exercises for circuit training are burpees, squat jumps, plank lifts, and hand walks. Circuit training burns 30 percent extra calories than normal workouts. Mornings are the best time to do circuits as you are full of energy to put all of it into the exercise. This will help to burn those calories away.

4. Kickboxing:

Kickboxing is a morning exercise for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Training for kickboxing is beneficial enough to make you stronger. It also burns fat and gives you real good moves to use in self-defense. There are many fun kickboxing workouts available online. It is best to join a kickboxing class for initial training. This is one of the best morning exercise for weight loss.

5. Yoga:

It is a known fact that the best and also the most appropriate time to do yoga asanas is in the morning, preferably before or at the time of sunrise. It should always be done on an empty stomach. Practicing yoga not only tones the body externally but also helps in the healing and strengthening of the internal organs.

6. Surya Namaskar:

Surya namaskar is a morning exercise for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

A single Surya Namaskar burns 13.91 calories approx. If you practice Surya Namaskar for 30 minutes in the morning and complete about 15 rounds, you burn nearly about 278-280 calories. This is more than what one normally might burn during a 1 hour cardio session. As there are many versions of Surya Namaskar to suit one’s fitness level, choose one for yourself. Surya Namaskar is suggested to be performed at the time of sunrise. It is not only about burning calories but also about the overall well-being of a person. Try to complete as many Surya Namaskar as possible. Do not overburden yourself at one go. Start with 6 or 8 SN, and keep increasing the number as you get comfortable.

7. Stretching Exercises:

Stretching is a morning exercise for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Stretching exercises are a must in your daily routine. Even on your rest days, do try a few nice stretching exercises. Studies suggest that overnight proteins get collected in the joints. It is important to stretch your muscles and work your joints to prevent diseases like arthritis. Further, these stretching exercises tone your muscles. It is important to add toning to your workout regime. After burning the calories, it comes to toning it all up. Yogasanas like Downward-Dog, Cobra, Virasana variations, and Cat-stretch combines toning and stretching.

8. Pranayama:

It has been a long time since Yoga guru Baba Ramdev popularized Pranayama among the masses, and it is still a craze. Pranayama has the power to keep you fit and young. This too must be practiced on an empty stomach.

9. Kapalbhati Pranayama:

Kaphalbhati pranayama is a morning exercise for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

It is one cure for everything and one of the simplest techniques to deal with all types of diseases. It helps to lose fat from the stomach area (the most stubborn fat too). If you are a beginner, do this exercise for 3 minutes and then keep progressing up to 10 minutes. That is the maximum limit for Kapalbhati. The ideal way is to do 700 counts of Kapalbhati every day.

10. Nadi Pranayama or Anulom-Vilom:

Nadi Pranayama or Anulom-Vilom is another common Pranayama which can be done by anyone from a little child to your 80-year old grandma. The most important thing about Anulom-Vilom is that it helps in regulating breathing. The breathing technique is important during all kinds of exercises, especially while doing cardio and yoga. This can affect your weight loss and toning. Breathing exercises forms an important part of Anulom-Vilom.

11. Mountain Climbers

Young woman doing mountain climbers
Image: Shutterstock

Mountain climbers are an effective bodyweight exercise that aids weight loss and tones your muscles. This excellent high-intensity, full-body exercise burns a significant amount of calories in a short period. It engages various muscle groups like the shoulders, legs, arms, and core, burning more calories in the process. It also boosts metabolism even after you have finished exercising, which helps burn more calories at an elevated rate, aiding weight loss. The thumb rule for doing this exercise is that you have to keep your core tight. You can increase the intensity by trying to bring your knees closer to the chest and gradually increase the pace of exercising. This cardiovascular exercise also helps improve your heart and lung capacity and is great for increasing core strength and agility.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Skipping, swimming, burpees, jumping jacks, and dancing are other fun cardio-intensive exercises you can perform.

Tips:

  • It is good to do your AM cardio workout on an empty stomach. Make sure you stay hydrated all the time! You can use water, infused water, coconut water, whichever you find healthy.
  • If you are doing weight training after your cardio sessions, make sure you grab some protein beforehand like a banana or some almonds.
  • Try doing Abhyanga (self-massage with oil) before your morning workout. It is an Ayurvedic ritual that helps in the removal of toxins and keeps your body moisturized throughout the workout.
  • Since your beauty is as important as your fitness, make sure to apply sunscreen lotion if you are heading outside for a run or biking.

Set your alarms ladies and get into your fittest best!

Infographic: 5 Best Morning Exercises For Weight Loss

Exercise is key to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. And staying fit doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hit the gym. There are other ways to stay active and fit. If you are looking for the much-needed motivation to start your weight loss journey and exercise, we are here to help you make that push. Check out the infographic below to learn the easiest morning exercises you can do to lose weight and stay fit.

5 best morning exercises for weight loss (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Starting your day with exercising automatically puts you in a better mood and keeps you active all day long. It helps you lose weight and improves your mental health. You need not worry if you don’t have a trainer, a bit of discipline and commitment alone can go a long way. Your morning workout can contain running, skipping, HIIT, strength exercises, or even dancing. And you can mix it up every day! Scroll up to check out our list of the best morning exercises for weight loss. We have also added additional tips to help you make the most of those exercises, such as when you should or should not eat before a morning workout. So, start your day with a healthy boost!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we exercise at 10 am?

Yes. You can work out at 10 am. However, the key is to maintain the routine to gain good results.

Is 30 minutes of exercise a day enough?

It depends on your health goal. For beginners, 30 minutes of daily exercise is fine. However, It is best to engage in moderate-intensity physical exercises for 150-300 minutes per week for better results (1).

Should you exercise on an empty stomach?

No. You must consume carbohydrates before exercising to improve performance and stamina.

Key Takeaways

  • People who exercise early in the morning burn a greater percentage of fat.
  • Doing cardio on an empty stomach helps in the oxidation of fatty acids that have accumulated in the body.
  • Working out in the morning keeps the body healthy and aids in the expulsion of toxins that may have accumulated during the night.
  • Running, biking, circuit training, kickboxing, and yoga are a few cardio exercises you can do in the morning to lose weight.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat protein-rich foods like a banana or some almonds if you want to lift weights after your cardio workout.
morning exercise for weight loss

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Start your day off right with these 10 exercises. Get energized and motivated with this easy-to-follow routine. Check out the tips to get fit and healthy from this video.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. An Overview of Current Physical Activity Recommendations in Primary Care
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536904/
  2. Effect of Morning and Evening Exercise on Energy Balance: A Pilot Study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8877501/
Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
Madhu Sharma is a member of the National Executive Committee of IDA. She has been associated for almost three decades with Pediatric Nutrition at PGI while serving in the Gastroenterology Department (20 years) and then the Advanced Pediatric Center (10 yrs) at PGIMER, Chandigarh. She is former Senior Dietitian from PGIMER, Chandigarh, retired in 2012.   Madhu has been closely...read full bio

Latest Articles