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How Soon After Waking Up Can You Exercise?

author image Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell
Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.
How Soon After Waking Up Can You Exercise?
Morning exercisers may be more inclined to stick with it. Photo Credit: Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The best time to exercise is when you are most likely to do it, explains the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. While some people may feel a little stiff or slow upon wakening, exercising first thing in the morning can get your heart working harder and help you feel more energetic. Allowing enough time to eat breakfast before pounding the pavement or jumping on a treadmill can give you energy for a successful workout.

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Body Temperature

Paying attention to how you feel and perform during your workout will help you learn whether exercising right when you wake up or at another time of day best suits you. As a general rule, exercise is less taxing and more productive in the mid to late afternoon when body temperature is highest, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Body temperature is at its lowest 1 to 3 hours prior to waking up in the morning and slowly increases as the day progresses.


Eating breakfast one to two hours before your exercise can help ensure you have adequate fuel to optimize your work. Blood glucose concentration may be low when your first wake up because the energy from dinner the previous night is typically depleted by morning. Exercising on an empty stomach may leave you feeling weak or sluggish. Good preworkout breakfast options include bananas, whole-grain cereal or toast, granola, low-fat milk or even a sports drink if you are pressed for time or don't like to eat when you first wake up.


Some people can workout successfully on an empty stomach without feeling weak or sluggish. Exercising before eating can be advantageous for those who can handle it. Working out on an empty stomach may cause your to burn more fat, explains the University of Iowa. Keep in mind, however, that you may be more likely to cut your workout short if you run of out energy. In the end, you may not burn more calories than if you had eaten a piece of fruit or other nutritious breakfast snack first.


People who workout in the morning are more apt to stick to an exercise routine before the responsibilities of the day build and can cause exercise to get scratched off the "to-do" list. Whatever time of day you choose to exercise, aim for or at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Moderately intense aerobic exercises like brisk walking, stair climbing, jogging and swimming can help boost the immune system, lower your risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, certain cancers and help manage your weight while improving your overall sense of well-being.

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