We all know that exercise is essential for maintaining good health and longevity, but have you ever considered that the time of day we choose to work out could impact our lives in significant ways?
According to a recent study published in Nature Communications, working out in the afternoon may be the most beneficial for our health, potentially reducing the risk of premature death more than morning or evening exercise.
No Need to Wake Up Early
Previous studies have suggested that physical activity in the morning could have health benefits, such as increased fat metabolism, while other studies have shown that evening exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety. However, these studies were small, and the results were generally inconsistent.
The recent study aims to provide a more definitive answer by analyzing more than 90,000 men and women who had joined the UK Biobank, a health study of adults.
Volunteers participating in the research were given an activity tracker to wear for a week. Using the results, the researchers divided the volunteers into groups depending on when and how often they moved.
They checked this against mortality records for up to seven years after people joined Biobank and then looked to spot any patterns. The most obvious outcome was that people who frequently engaged in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) lived longer than people who did barely any exercise.
The surprise came when they uncovered links between afternoon workouts and living a longer life. People who engaged in physical activity between 11 am to 5 pm were less likely to die from heart disease than people who exercised outside of this time bracket.
This time of day also happens to coincide with the time of day that people are statistically less likely to have a heart attack. Afternoon workouts can help reduce stress levels, ease tension, and promote relaxation, which may aid in recovery post-workout.’
Ultimately… the best time of day to exercise is the time that works best for an individual’s schedule and allows for consistent exercise. ‘The best time of day to workout is the time that works best for you and your schedule, and that allows you to be consistent and committed to your workout routine,' says Dillon. Regardless of the time of day, consistent exercise is key to achieving fitness goals and maintaining good health.