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Early Morning Rays May Help You Lose Weight

 

We all have morning routines that we treasure, but there may be an easy way to use the morning to make a few extra pounds disappear, too.  Experts now tell us getting some extra sunlight in the morning may make it easier to shed weight. 

It has always been my experience that just being outdoors puts everybody in a better mood, so losing weight and boosting a good mood could be a double dividend here.

I read about this weight loss discovery  from studies at  Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine where researchers wanted to measure the sun’s effect on us. They used wrist monitors to measure exposure to morning light.  Their research showed that people who got more morning light all had lower BMI’s, regardless of their age and amount of activity. The people with the strongest connection between BMI and light were exposed to more than 500 lux of light.  Outdoor lighting can go from 1,000 lux up into the hundreds of thousands.

Why does this work?  It really is a series of steps.  First the researchers say exposure to early light helps to refine the internal body clock which then helps us maintain a natural sleep schedule, and that makes the body’s  metabolism more efficient.  And then when metabolism works, weight loss follows. Researchers also say there is more blue light in the morning and blue light is the most effective influence on our circadian rhythms.

They say 20 to 30 minutes of sunlight between 8 a.m. and noon can make a difference.   Here are some ways to get started:

  • Start the day with a stroll around your garden or do a few minutes of meditation outside.
  • When the season is right have your morning coffee outside on the patio or the balcony.
  • When you can, build in a little walk or short run before breakfast.
  • Set up your breakfast eating area near a sunny window.
  • If you can manage it try to schedule some of your meetings outside on a patio or as walk and talk meetings outside.
  • Make sure you take morning breaks outside.
  • Use weekend mornings for hikes, Tai Chi classes in the park, biking or runs.
  • Consider setting up an outdoor room (patio, balcony, small side yard, etc.)  where you can meditate, exercise, do yoga or just read and review the day.  This may become your favorite spot.

We have talked about  a few ways here to grab a little extra sunlight  putting it to work to feel better and look better.  You may have some other great ideas that lead to more outside time.  Just make sure you dial in about a half an hour of sunlight in the morning and enjoy the rewards.

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