The best time of day to exercise for burning calories and fat is “more efficient”
Being overweight or obese is often cited as a risk factor for most health problems. Being overweight can make you more vulnerable to serious diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Therefore, losing weight when needed is often referred to as a way to improve your health.
Exercise is considered one of the ways to help lose weight, especially when combined with a healthy diet.
But now researchers think they’ve found the optimal time to exercise to achieve weight loss.
A team from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that the relevant biological processes depend on the circadian rhythms of cells.
In particular, exercise late in the morning has been shown to burn more calories.
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As part of a study published in the journal PNAS, they compared the results of training in the morning and in the evening.
Twice a day, the experts gave the mice a high-intensity workout and then studied their adipose tissue (body fat).
The researchers looked at which genes were active in body fat at that time.
They found that those who boosted their metabolism were more bountiful in the morning, no matter how much food they ate.
Morning workout genes break down fat, producing heat and mitochondria in adipose tissue.
In a press release, Professor Julin R. Zeerat of the Karolinska Institute stated, “Our results suggest that late morning exercise may be more effective than late evening exercise in terms of boosting metabolism and burning fat, and if so, they may be useful for people who are overweight.
Mice were used in the trial because they share many physiological functions with humans and are a well-established model of human physiology and metabolism.
But there are also important differences, such as the fact that mice are nocturnal.
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“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 applicability of our findings to humans,” Ms Zirat added.
Other Benefits of Morning Exercise
These results follow a previous study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in November 2022, which concluded that exercising between 8 and 11 am is associated with the lowest risk of heart disease and stroke.
Study author Gali Albalak of Leiden University Medical Center said: “Our results add to the evidence for health benefits of physical activity, suggesting that morning activity, especially late morning activity, may be most beneficial.”
Whereas a separate study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that older people who exercise in the morning improve cognitive performance at the end of the day.
Lead author Michael Wheeler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute commented: “This study shows how relatively simple changes to your daily routine can have significant benefits for your cognitive health.
“It also shows that one day we may be able to do certain types of exercise to improve certain cognitive skills, such as memory or learning.”
It is believed that one in four adults in the UK is obese.
Obesity is classified as having a body mass index greater than 30.
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