Want to lose weight? Experts say work out in the evening – not in the morning

Want to lose weight? Experts say work out in the evening – not in the morning

  • Exercising between noon and midnight reduces insulin resistance by up to a quarter
  • Dutch researchers say insulin resistance can lead to weight gain
  • Experts say exercising at the optimal time can help people control their weight

Research suggests that going to the gym in the afternoon or evening may be better for weight loss than morning workouts.

Exercising between noon and midnight has been shown to reduce insulin resistance – which can lead to weight gain – by up to a quarter.

Experts say that exercising at the optimal time can thus help people control their weight and reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance occurs when cells in the muscle, fat, and liver struggle to respond to insulin and cannot easily absorb glucose from the blood, resulting in increased sugar in the bloodstream.

Exercising between noon and midnight has been shown to reduce insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain - by up to a quarter

Exercising between noon and midnight has been shown to reduce insulin resistance – which can lead to weight gain – by up to a quarter

Previous studies have linked exercise to better sensitivity to insulin, which lowers the risk of developing diabetes, but the scientists wanted to test whether timing had any effect.

Researchers at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands studied nearly 7,000 people, ages 45 to 65.

Most had a BMI of 27 or higher meaning they were overweight or obese, along with the control group who were at a healthy weight.

Participants underwent a physical examination in which blood samples were taken to measure the level of glucose and insulin in the blood during fasting and after eating.

The subjects were also asked about their lifestyles and some were randomly selected to measure the fat content of the liver using MRI scans.

A randomized group of 955 people was also given a combined accelerometer and heart rate monitor to wear for four consecutive days and nights to monitor movement and activity levels. About 775 people with complete data were included in the analysis.

The results showed that spending time in moderate to vigorous physical activity reduces liver fat and also reduces insulin resistance.

Exercising in the afternoon or evening was associated with lower insulin resistance, by 18 percent and 25 percent, respectively, compared to an equal distribution of activity throughout the day.

The study published in the journal Diabetologia found that there was no significant difference in insulin resistance between morning activity and activity spread evenly throughout the day.

The authors conclude: “These findings suggest that the timing of physical activity throughout the day is closely related to the beneficial effects of physical activity on insulin sensitivity.”

Other studies should evaluate whether the timing of physical activity is actually important for the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.

How much exercise do you need

To stay healthy, adults between the ages of 19 and 64 should try to be active daily and should do the following:

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as biking or brisk walking each week and
  • Strength training two or more days a week working all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms)

or:

  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or an individual tennis match each week and
  • Strength training two or more days a week working all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms)

or:

  • A combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity each week – eg, 2 x 30 minutes of running plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equals 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and
  • Strength training two or more days a week working all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms)

A good rule of thumb is that one minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate activity.

One way to do the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week is to do 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days each week.

All adults should also break up long periods of sitting with light activity.

source: NHS

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