Exercising first thing in the morning may lower a woman's risk of becoming overweight.

In a study at Indiana University's School of Public Health, more than 7,000 women wore sensors to calculate morning and afternoon levels of physical activity.

The results, published in the Journal Of Physical Activity & Health, showed that those whose morning activity levels were below 39 per cent of their daily total were 26 per cent more likely to be obese than those who put in at least 54 per cent before noon.

Of 1,322 overweight women who took part, all were found to have lower exercise levels in the morning.

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- Daily Mail