A new study reveals that there are optimal times of day to achieve specific exercise goals depending on whether you are male or female.
Research shows that for women, in particular, exercising in the morning or evening produces different results. The study also looks at the effect of hours of exercise on a person’s mood.

The time of training changes the effects of sport

Not everyone exercises for the same reason. For some, exercise is a way to treat a health problem such as high blood pressure. Others train to strengthen one part of the body or another, and still others to improve their mood. A new study suggests that the time of day a person exercises can produce different results. Also, these results are not the same for women and men.

Professor Paul J. Arciero, lead author of the study and professor in the Department of Health and Human Physiological Sciences at Skidmore College in New York, explains in the study that the best time to exercise is when people can fit it into their schedule. Nevertheless, the study reveals certain periods when individuals are more likely to achieve specific exercise goals. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology.

Exercise from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. or from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The researchers tracked the benefits of exercise in a group of 30 women and 26 men who were assigned to exercise in the morning, specifically between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., or in the evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

All participants were healthy, non-smokers and trained in sports. Participants trained according to the PRISET exercise and fitness paradigm (Protein pacing intake combined with Resistance functional, Interval sprint, Stretching, Endurance exercise). All participants followed a healthy meal plan, and consumption was similar in the morning and evening groups.

The study authors measured a range of outcomes, including muscle strength, endurance and power, body composition, systolic/diastolic blood pressure, respiratory exchange ratio and moods, as well as than their food intake. All participants were healthy, active, lean, and weight-stable individuals, which may not be particularly representative of the habits, demographics, or goals of the general population. Furthermore, they were middle-aged adults without cardiovascular disease. Thus, these people would not be completely representative of the general population.

Mood enhancement

One of the unique aspects of the study is exploring the time of day exercise is done on mood. For the first time, this study shows that the time of day you exercise significantly alters the mood of women and men. Specifically, women who exercise in the afternoon significantly improve their overall mood compared to those who exercise in the morning.

The men studied showed greater improvement in perceived mood state than the women. Exercise appeared to decrease tension, depression, anger substantially in men regardless of time of day, while improvements in tension and depression were seen only in women who exercised in the evening.

Physiological benefits

All participants showed improvements in all areas after the 12-week trial. However, the nature of these improvements varied. Women who exercised in the morning reduced their total body fat and abdominal fat more, lowered their blood pressure more, and increased lower-body muscle power. Women who exercised in the evening saw greater improvements in upper body muscle strength, mood, and satiety.

The effect was less pronounced in men. However, there were differences:

Men who exercised at any time of the day improved their physical performance.

Men who exercised in the evening saw benefits for their heart and metabolic health, as well as decreased fatigue.

Why this gender difference?

The study’s authors point out that a “direct comparison” between women and men was not the purpose of the study. However, several potential mechanisms explaining the differences between women and men in their response to exercise at different times of the day may include variations in neuromuscular function, capillary density, responses to hunger, and fat metabolism between women and men”.

These differences suggest that molecular, endocrine, metabolic, and neuromuscular factors likely contribute to these diurnal variations in health and physical performance outcomes between women and men.

The precise mechanism is unclear, but it may be related to the neuro-hormonal-psychological effects of exercise later in the day as a form of “de-stressing” which may also have a favorable impact on sleep quality. . Interestingly, afternoon exercise in men also significantly reduced feelings of fatigue.

The study results suggest that people should consider the time of day they go to exercise when developing exercise or fitness programs with their doctor.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.