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What do you want out of the exercises?
The best time of day to exercise may depend on what you want to achieve with exercise, but it may also depend on whether you are male or female.
In a small experiment to be evaluated in larger populations, the researchers asked 30 women and 26 men to exercise in the morning, before breakfast or in the evening, while also following a specially planned meal plan.
Men who exercised at night had major improvements in heart and metabolic health as well as emotional well-being.
For women, the picture was mixed: the greatest improvements in total body fat, abdominal and hip fat, in addition to blood pressure, were achieved by women who exercised in the morning; improvements in muscle strength, potency, endurance, mood and food intake were greater for those who exercised in the afternoon.
The good news is that all groups improved their overall health and performance.
“Here we show for the first time that for women exercise in the morning reduces belly fat and blood pressure, while exercise in the evening for women increases the upper body muscle strength, power and endurance and improves muscle strength. General mood and nutritional satiety.
“We have also shown that for men, exercise at night reduces blood pressure, the risk of heart disease and the feeling of fatigue and burns more fat compared to exercise in the morning,” Dr. Paul Arciero, from California State University (USA).
Training time matters
All participants improved their overall health status and performance during the experiment, regardless of their assignment for morning or evening exercise and regardless of gender.
“Our study clearly demonstrates the benefits of multimodal morning and evening exercise to improve cardiometabolic health and mood, as well as physical performance results in women and men,” Arciero said.
The highlight of the study, however, is the evidence that the time of day the workout is performed determines the intensity of improvements in physical performance, body composition, cardiometabolic health, and mood.
For example, all female participants reduced their total body fat, abdominal and hip fat, and blood pressure during the study, but these improvements were greater in women who exercised in the morning. Only men who exercised at night showed a decrease in the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, respiratory exchange rate, and carbohydrate oxidation, as fat became the body’s preferred fuel source.
Article: Morning exercise reduces abdominal fat and blood pressure in women; Evening training increases muscular performance in women and lowers blood pressure in men
Authors: Paul J. Arciero, Stephen J. Ives, Alex E. Mohr, Nathaniel Robinson, Daniela Escudero, Jake Robinson, Kayla Rose, Olivia Minicucci, Gabriel OBrien, Kathryn Curran, Vincent J. Miller, Feng He, Chelsea Norton, Maia Paul, Caitlin Sheridan, Sheriden Beard, Jessica Centore, Monique Dudar, Katy Ehnstrom, Dakembay Hoyte, Heather Mak, Aaliyah Yarde
Publication: Frontiers in Physiology
DOI: 10.3389 / fphys.2022.893783