Exercise is good for you whatever time you choose to do it, but according to a new US study, the time that you exercise can actually have an effect on how much weight you lose.
The new research, which was published in Frontiers In Physiology, revealed that the best time to exercise differs for both men and women, and also varies depending on the results that you want to achieve.
The 12-week study saw 30 men and 26 women – all active and healthy between the ages of 25 and 55 – monitored in relation to the effects of a varied fitness programme, which included stretching, sprint, resistance and endurance training.
Dr Paul Arciero, who led the study, said “the best time for exercise is the best time you can do it and fit it into your schedule”, but he also suggested that there are optimal times that differ for men and women.
Here’s everything the study found about the best times to exercise for losing weight.
When is the best time for women to exercise?
The best time for women to exercise if they want to lose weight is in the morning.
The study found that women burned more abdominal fat during morning exercise and it also reduced blood pressure.
Visceral fat, which makes up a large proportion of abdominal fat, wraps around the body’s internal organs, but morning exercise can play a vital role in reducing this.
However, if women want to build muscle, they are better off exercising in the evening.
During the study, it was revealed that women were more sensitive to the time that they exercised.
Researchers said that this may be because women are more likely to have excess stomach fat.
When is the best time for men to exercise?
The men in the trial were less sensitive to the time of day they exercised, and their strength improved in both the mornings and evenings.
But Dr Arciero said that exercising in the evening was “ideal for men interested in improving heart and metabolic health, as well as emotional wellbeing”.
It’s not known exactly why there are variations between the impact that certain timed exercise has on men and women, but differences in hormones, biological clocks and sleep-wake cycles between the sexes could all play a role.