Everyone has struggled with weight, and we’ve tried different ways to stay fit. Between all those, ever considered bright morning light?
Well, this strategy to maintain one’s figure could be surprising to all who read it, but it’s possibly true. If a new study is to be believed, our weight is directly linked to the timing, intensity, and duration of exposure of our body to light.
This is the first time such research has been conducted, but the proof was there nonetheless. People who had exposed their bodies to light at an earlier time in a day had a significantly lower body mass index (BMI), when compared with those people who exposed their bodies to light later in the day. Consequently, the earlier the time of exposure, the lower the BMI of the person, according to the study. Even moderately bright exposure to light was sufficient to constitute as ‘exposure’ and have the effect.
Light is said to be important for the smooth functioning of a person’s ‘body clock’, a mechanism that regulates energy in a person’s body. The results of the research showed that in order to benefit, a person must expose themselves to moderately bright light between 8 in the morning and 12 noon.
The time duration was also reasonable, about 20 to 30 minutes of exposure was enough to create the difference in BMI, almost by 20 percent. The influence of this exposure to light was independent of physical activity level, caloric intake, sleep timing, age or season.
However, if one did not get this light at the required time of the day, the body clock could malfunction and thus alter the person’s metabolic activity. This could cause weight gain, but the exact effects required more research, according to those in the study.
It is widely known that most people do not receive exposure to light between the mentioned times, especially natural light. This is because most people live and work in environments that are not well illuminated. Besides, people spend a lot more of their mornings indoors. Outside, even on a cloudy day, the light is strong enough to affect the BMI of an individual.
Light is being worked on a possible way to be harnessed and then used to create weight management programs. The study that was conducted integrated the parameters of timing, duration and intensity of light into a number, called ‘mean light timing’. It focused on a total of 54 participants who measured their exposure to light for seven days. By combining the three parameters, they came to be associated with body mass index.
The results of the research emphasize on the fact that just as we know that too much light at night-time interferes with the body clock, so does not getting enough light in the morning. The exposure to light should thus be in sync with the internal body clock as much as possible. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, people would have to be encouraged to do so.
In addition to this, the number of windows needs to be increased, and people need to take their breaks in the presence of light. By doing so in sedentary places like at offices and in schools, obesity could be reduced.
So wake up, and get outside!