Fitness Tips

Early Bird Gets the Worm—*And* Longer Workouts, Says New Study

Tehrene Firman

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Some people get up at the crack of dawn, full of energy and ready to work out. Others press snooze and get their oomph later on in the day instead. While anytime you squeeze in a workout does incredible things for both your mental and physical health, a new study found early risers tend to get more exercise overall.

In the study, which was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, researchers reached back out to 6,000 individuals who had previously been part of a health study. In the follow-up, the men and women were asked to wear an activity tracker for two weeks. After calculating how much energy the participants expended, they found early birds got in more movement overall. Women walked 20 minutes more than the night owls, and men walked 30 minutes more.

Study lead Laura Nauha, a doctoral student at the University of Oulu in Finland, told the New York Times there’s a reason for that extra movement. It could be because night owls have more energy later on in the evening when it’s not as convenient to run outside or head to the gym, for example. She says a lack of sleep could also play a role, as they may be more tired during the day from staying up later. Whatever the reason may be, it just makes it even more crucial for them to get moving. “Evening types may need to work harder to try to ensure they exercise,” she said.

The good news is night owls can work with their own internal clocks to make sure they’re also staying active. If you’re not the kind of person who’s ready for a jog at 5:30 a.m., experts recommend working up a sweat when it feels best for your body, whether that’s over your lunch break or after you get done with work for the day. You’ll get more out of it opposed to trying to exercise first-thing when you’re still wandering around with your eyes half-closed. As long as you make it your mission to move, you’ll reap the benefits.

Work up a sweat whenever you want with this high-energy, full-body workout:

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