Exercise is good for you whenever you find time to do it, but new research reveals doing it at different times of day may lead to better results. A new study looks into the best time for men and women to exercise during the day and it turns out, it’s not the same for both sexes.
The study of healthy active adults between 25 and 55 years old were split into groups and monitored while they participated in 12 weeks of a fitness program. They all followed the same specially-designed meal plan and had their blood pressure, body fat, flexibility, strength and aerobic power tested at the start and end of the program. And while all of the participants improved their overall health and performance, regardless of when they worked out, the results show:
- Women burn more body fat during morning exercise, while evenings are better for men.
- Lead study author Dr. Paul Arcerio says based on their findings, women who want to reduce fat around their middle and lower blood pressure should try to workout in the morning.
- But he says women who are working to improve muscle strength in their upper body as well as their overall mood and food intake should do evening workouts.
- The men in the study were less sensitive to the time of day they exercised and improved strength in both morning and evening workouts. But Dr. Arcerio explains that evening exercise is “ideal for men interested in improving heart and metabolic health, as well as emotional wellbeing.”
So why are men and women’s responses to the timing of exercise so different? Study authors say more research is needed to find out, but they think differences in hormones, biological clocks and sleep-wake cycles could all be factors.