1 hour ago
Doing exercise is beneficial to you at any time you do it, but if you want to achieve a better result, the time of its performance during the day may differ for women and men, according to an American study.
The study found that women burn more body fat during exercise in the morning, while the evening period is more beneficial for heart health in men.
Researchers say much of what is known about this topic is based on studies conducted on men.
Gender differences in hormones, circadian clocks, and sleep-wake cycles can play an important role.
The new study – which included 30 men and 26 women, all active and healthy, ages 25 to 55 – lasted for 12 weeks and monitored the effects of a varied fitness program that included stretching, running, resistance and endurance exercises.
One group exercised for an hour before 8:00 am, while the other group continued the same activities in the evening between 18:00 and 20:00. All participants followed a meal plan designed specifically for this purpose.
The researchers tested everyone’s blood pressure and body fat over the course of the study, as well as their flexibility, strength, and cardio-pulmonary strength during the start and end exercise period.
All study participants improved their overall health and performance during the 12-week trial, regardless of when they exercised.
“The best time to exercise is one that fits into your schedule,” says Dr. Paul Arsareo, lead study author and professor of health and human physiological sciences at Skidmore College in New York State.
But he points out that “something else is going on,” which could mean that the ideal time of day to exercise is different for women and men.
early or late?
Based on the study’s findings, women interested in reducing fat around their midsection and lowering blood pressure should aim to exercise in the morning, says Dr. Arsario.
This is important because belly fat collects around the body’s internal organs, including the liver, and can be dangerous.
He says women who are trying to improve upper body muscle tone, in addition to improving their mood and food intake, should do evening exercise.
The men in the experiment were less sensitive to when they exercised during the day, which improved their strength in the morning and evening.
But the study – says Dr. Arsrio – showed that evening exercise is “ideal for men interested in improving their heart and metabolic health, as well as their emotional state”.
Improving metabolic health means lowering the risk of diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
It’s not clear exactly why men and women’s bodies react differently to the timing of exercise, and researchers say more research is needed to find out more.
They say women may burn more body fat in the morning, because they are more likely to have excess abdominal fat. The body’s internal rhythms may also be a factor.
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, tracked people of a healthy weight, but the researchers say the program could also work on people who are overweight or obese.
“They have more opportunities to benefit,” says Dr. Arsrio.