Exercising in the afternoon could help you live longer: Study

2023-02-26 22:20:09
Exercising in the afternoon could help you live longer: Study

Afternoon exercise may reduce the risks of premature death more than morning or evening workouts, according to a new large-scale study of more 90,000 men and women.

But if morning or evening exercise is your preference, don’t despair. The study also finds that physical activity at any time of day is better for longevity than not exercising.

And other new research indicates that there can be unique benefits to slotting exercise into the morning hours, suggesting that the best time to exercise depends on what we want from a workout.

There is already mounting evidence that the health effects of exercise depend, to some extent, on when we are active. In past research, people at risk for diabetes improved their blood-sugar control more if they worked out in the evening than in the morning, while in other studies, people lost more body fat if they exercised early rather than later in the day.

Published this month in Nature Communications, the new study marshals data about 92,139 men and women who had joined the UK Biobank, a health study of adults in the United Kingdom, and worn an activity tracker for a week.

Using the trackers’ readouts, the researchers divvied up the volunteers according to how often and when they moved around, checked mortality records for up to seven years after people joined the Biobank, and compared movement patterns and deaths.

The strongest and least-surprising correlation they found was that the men and women who most frequently engaged in moderate or vigorous physical activity (the equivalent of a brisk walk), lived longer than people who rarely worked out, no matter what time of day people got up and moved.

But the researchers also uncovered subtle links between midday exercise and even better odds of a long life.

People who clustered their physical activity between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. or spread it out throughout the entire day were less likely to die prematurely from heart disease or other causes (except cancer) than people who mainly exercised before 11 a.m. or after 5 p.m.

Source: The Washington Post


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