When is the best time to exercise?

When is the best time to exercise?
When is the best time to exercise?

Experts agree on the importance of overcoming the prevalent sedentary lifestyle, emphasizing that any time is good for physical activity.

(Science Times) What is the best time of day to exercise?‌ It’s a simple question with a frustrating number of answers, based on research results that are often quite contradictory.

The most recent evidence was provided last month by a group of Australian researchers, according to whom the night is the healthiest time to sweat, at least for overweight people. Their study analyzed 30,000 middle-aged people with obesity and discovered that nocturnal athletes They were 28 percent less likely to die from any cause than those who exercised in the morning or afternoon.

“We were surprised by the difference,” said Angelo Sabag, an exercise physiologist at the University of Sydney who led the study. The team expected to see a benefit from evening workouts, but “we didn’t think the risk reduction would be as pronounced as it was.”

Does that mean the night swimmers and night runners have always been right?

“Whenever you can, you should exercise. That is the answer,” say the experts (Illustrative Image Infobae)

“It is an emerging field of research. We haven’t done all the experiments yet. “We are learning a lot every month,” said Juleen Zierath, a physiologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

No single study can dictate when you should exercise. For many people, the choice comes down to physical fitness, work schedules, and simple preferences. That said, certain times of day may offer slight advantages, depending on what you want to achieve.‌ Reasons to exercise in the morning ‌According to a 2022 study, morning exercise may be especially beneficial for heart health. It may also improve sleep.

And when it comes to weight loss, good arguments have been made for morning workouts. Last year, a study published in the journal Obesity found that people who exercised between seven and nine in the morning had a lower body mass index than their counterparts who exercised in the afternoon or evening, although They were not followed over time, unlike the Australian study, which followed participants for an average of eight years.

Most research is limited to showing a correlation between exercise times and health benefits, not identifying them as the cause. (Illustrative image Infobae)

Of course, the biggest argument for morning exercise may be purely practical. “For many people, the morning is more comfortable,” said Shawn Youngstedt, professor of exercise science at Arizona State University. Even if getting up early to exercise proves to be a challenge at first, your morning workout won’t get in the way of Zoom meetings, playdates, or your latest binge-watching of a Netflix series.

Reasons to exercise in the afternoon ‌Some small studies suggest that the best time to train, at least for elite athletes, may be the least convenient for many of us.

Body temperature, which is lowest in the morning but peaks in the late afternoon, influences athletic performance. Several recent small studies with competitive athletes suggest that lower body temperature reduces performance (although warm-up exercises help counteract this) and that evening workouts help them play better and sleep longer.

Choosing the best time of day to engage in physical activity varies depending on personal goals, physical conditions, and individual preferences, although certain hours may offer specific advantages (Illustrative image Infobae)

If you have enough time, a small New Zealand study found that it may help to take a nap first. As for the rest of us, a Chinese study of 92,000 people found that the best time to exercise for the heart was between eleven in the morning and five in the afternoon.

“The main difference is our population,” Sabag said. While his study was limited to obese people, the Chinese study was not. “Individuals with obesity may be more sensitive to the effects of exercise depending on the time of day,” she said.

Reasons to exercise at night ‌While this latest study doesn’t settle the debate, it does suggest that those struggling with obesity could benefit from a later exercise session.

Exercise makes insulin more effective at lowering blood sugar levels, which in turn prevents weight gain and type 2 diabetes, a common and devastating consequence of obesity.

A study published in the journal Obesity last year found that exercising between seven and nine in the morning could be associated with a lower body mass index. (Illustrative image Infobae)

“At night, you are more resistant to insulin. So if you can compensate for that natural change in insulin sensitivity by exercising,” Sabag explained, you can lower blood glucose levels and therefore , help control diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

A persistent concern about nighttime exercise is that vigorous activity sometimes disrupts sleep. However, some experts argue that these concerns are exaggerated.‌ Reasons to think it doesn’t matter that much. ‌While many of these studies are fascinating, none of them are definitive. To begin with, most simply show a correlation between exercise times and health benefits, not identify them as the cause.

“The ultimate study would be to randomly assign people to different schedules,” Youngstedt said, which would be extraordinarily expensive and difficult for academics.

The research, which involved 30,000 middle-aged people with obesity, revealed that those who exercised at night were 28% less likely to die from any cause compared to those who preferred other times of the day (Illustrative image Infobae)

What public health experts do agree on is that most Americans are too sedentary. And that any movement is good.

“Whenever you can, you should exercise. That is the answer,” Sabag urged. In a recent edition of his newsletter discussing the Australian study, Arnold Schwarzenegger – bodybuilder, actor, former governor – seemed to agree. He cited a 2023 study that suggests there really is no difference in results based on what time of day you exercise. In that case, it all depends on what works best for each person.

“I will continue training in the morning. For me it is automatic,” wrote Schwarzenegger, former Mr. Universe.

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