How to live longer: The timing of your daily workouts can affect your lifespan – study
While all exercise is beneficial, there is growing evidence that benefits may be time dependent. Scientists believe that the timing of training is important, as the biological processes in the body are regulated by the circadian rhythm. New results show that when it comes to longevity, exercising in the morning may offer the best chance of avoiding an early death.
There appears to be a growing interest in the role of exercise timing for health, but research has failed to draw firm conclusions about the optimal timing of physical activity.
Now, a new study published in Nature Communications suggests that exercise in the afternoon can provide benefits that you can’t get in the morning.
The study was conducted on more than 92,000 participants in the British Biobank.
The researchers made several noteworthy observations after analyzing data from activity trackers worn by volunteers for a week.
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Using this data, the subjects were divided into groups based on when and how often they exercised.
Not surprisingly, they found that “moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity at any time of the day is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.”
The findings also suggest that exercising later may maximize the health benefits of exercise.
In particular, scientists have found a link between daily exercise and longevity.
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People who exercised between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm were less likely to experience heart disease than people who exercised at other times of the day.
“These protective associations are more pronounced among older adults, men, less physically active participants, or people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease,” the authors note.
“Here we show that times of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity may have the potential to improve population health,” they concluded.
Based on past research, the scientists explained that the body’s ability to perform exercise peaks in the afternoon.
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Similarly, body temperature rises throughout the day, which optimizes muscle function and strength.
With an increase in body temperature, enzyme activity and endurance also increase.
While the latest results make a strong case for afternoon workouts, the optimal time for any exercise regimen depends on the individual’s goals.
Recent studies by the Karolinska Institute and the University of Copenhagen have shown that morning exercise increases fat metabolism.
Studies in mice have shown that morning exercise can also have a beneficial effect on blood pressure.
Scientists noted that exercise at different times of the day can affect the body in different ways, since biological processes depend on the circadian rhythms of cells.
Professor Julin R. Zirat, from the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, said it was important to get the timing right for exercise.
The researcher noted, “Proper timing appears to be important for the body’s energy balance and improving the health benefits of exercise, but more research is needed to draw any reliable conclusions about the significance of our findings in humans.”
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