New research suggests that the best time of day to exercise for weight loss is in the morning. A study conducted on 5,285 middle-aged adults in the US found that exercising between 7 and 9 am yielded the best results in terms of weight loss. Early-morning gym goers were able to focus on their workout without the distraction of work or emails, which may have contributed to their success.
The study analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey collected between 2003 and 2006. Participants wore fitness trackers on their hip to monitor their exercise for seven consecutive days. They were divided into three groups: morning exercisers (7-9 am), mid-day exercisers (11 am – 1 pm), and evening exercisers (5-8 pm).
The results showed that individuals who exercised in the morning had a lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference compared to those who exercised later in the day. They also reported making healthier diet choices and consuming less food. Interestingly, morning exercisers were inactive for longer periods of time after their workouts, but still had better weight outcomes.
Although these findings are promising, it’s important to note that this study is cross-sectional and doesn’t account for other factors that could influence exercise habits and weight management. For instance, individuals who consistently exercise in the morning may have more predictable schedules and fewer responsibilities that hinder morning workouts. Predictable schedules could have additional positive effects on weight, such as better sleep quality and lower stress levels.
This study aligns with previous research that suggests working out earlier in the day increases fat burning rates. However, it’s worth mentioning that our peak performance levels and blood sugar control tend to be highest in the late afternoon. Additionally, a study conducted by Prof Paul J Arciero found that the optimal exercise time may vary depending on gender. Women aiming to lose fat around their belly and hips may benefit more from morning exercise, while men may see better results from evening workouts.
In conclusion, while exercising in the morning may be beneficial for weight loss, it’s important to consider individual preferences and circumstances. The key is to find a consistent exercise routine that fits into your schedule and maximizes your personal goals.
– Study published in the journal Obesity
– National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
– Scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark
– Prof Paul J Arciero, Skidmore College, New York