The surprising reason why morning walks can help you lose weight

December 9, 2014, 1 p.m.
misty morning over water
Photo: Ian Sane/flickr

Getting up for a sunrise walk can help you lose weight — but it isn't just the walking that makes the difference. Earlier this year, researchers at Northwestern University revealed that exposure to morning light can help as well.

As we reported earlier, "light exposure probably plays a role in regulating metabolism, much in the same way that the level of light exposure can cue wakefulness or sleepiness. Animal studies performed on mice have shown a similar correlation between light exposure and BMI, so the findings were not terribly surprising... Though the study confirms a correlation between early morning light exposure and body weight, researchers have not yet confirmed a causal connection. So there's not yet any reason to think that simply turning the lights on in the morning will trim the pounds."

Because our bodies are attuned to the sun — that is, after all, how we get our vitamin D as well as the melatonin that plays a role in our circadian wake-sleep cycles — there is probably a link between getting out into the early morning sunlight. More research is needed, but in the mean time, it couldn't hurt to get up for a sunrise jaunt. You may just get to witness beautiful scenes like this one.