Morning or Evening — When’s the Best Time to Exercise

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Does it matter what time of the day you should be exercising?

We all want to make the best use of our time — and part of that time should be dedicated to some exercise. But, is training either in the morning or evening more beneficial? Do you achieve faster results or somehow improve your health more effectively? Scientists have now mapped out several different signals our bodies release through our organs via experiments with mice that exercise at other times of the day. These experiments will lead the way towards improving health, and uncovering the best and most effective exercise therapies, timed via our natural body clock. We all know how much exercise improves our mental and physical health physique. We may not know that exercise benefits our body in many different ways, according to what time we work out. Scientists still don’t know why the timing of exercise produces these effects. Therefore, scientists have recently carried out a more comprehensive study of performed exercises. Scientists conducted a range of experiments on mice exercising in the morning or late in the evening. Blood samples and different tissues (including the brain), heart, liver and fat were collected and analysed. These samples were then analysed by something called mass spectrometry. It allowed scientists to detect different metabolites — hormone signalling molecules in each tissue while monitoring how they changed when performing an exercise. 

What does the experiment show us?

The one flaw I’d like to bring light to is that mice are nocturnal, and the exercise was performed on a treadmill (as you know, mice are limited to what they can do), so these findings cannot compare to what strength training can do for humans. In saying that, mice share similar genetic and psychological behaviours as humans. This analysis did not consider the impact of sex, age, and disease. Therefore, this is just a general overview in which we can take the findings and find the best solution for our lifestyles according to our internal body clock. 

Key takeaways

Overall, the research tells us that exercising later in the day tends to signal greater reliance on fat than blood sugar to fuel early morning exercise. If those findings from mice results were applied to humans, morning workouts contribute to fat loss, whereas evenings help control your blood sugar. What can you take from this and apply to your own life? The best time to exercise is the time that suits you and your lifestyle. We can use this information to perhaps change our routine or add in some regular morning or evening exercise habits. Or, maybe you have a primary goal to lose body fat and choose to exercise in a fast start during the early hour of the morning. Walking in the evening after dinner isn’t a bad idea for us. But, it’s a good habit to get into if you want to regulate your blood sugar levels. Please take this information with a grain of salt, and until research can give us a definite answer, use your initiative in the process. If you have diabetes, it possibly encourages you to take a brisk walk in the evenings to stabilise your blood sugar. I hope this helps you make the best decision about when the best time for exercise may be. Please check out these links for further reading, although it’s limited). 

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