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Timing exercise to maximize health benefits
The short answer, to the question, of “When is the best time to exercise”, would be……….. when YOU DO.
But the long answer, as with everything body related, there is going to be A GOOD TIME, to exercise.
You’re most sensitive to insulin, early in the morning, and least sensitive, at night, so PIGGING out, is best done, early in the day. And, a corollary to this, it is wise to “CLOSE THE KITCHEN”, early.
Does this apply to exercise too ?
The strong time
Well, it has been known for years, that exercise performance, hits it’s peak, in the late afternoon.
You’re definitely STRONGER and more CAPABLE.
Of course, after a long day, at the office, you might night be more MOTIVATED. Eish !
But does showing up, when you’re STRONGEST, mean less health benefits or more ?
This is what a team of researchers from the Netherlands, decided to explore, as an after thought.
The add on study
The team had set up a study, to look at whether exercising, could help alleviate fat accumulation in the liver, of overweight MEN.
Unsurprisingly…………they found, IT CAN.
3 thirty minute workouts, 2 aerobic (cycling) and 1 resistance training a week, for 12 weeks, moved the needle, on liver fat accumulation.
But, one afternoon, while sitting around sipping coffee, someone asked…….
“Did the timing matter ?”
Now, it just so happened, that in their study, some of the participants, did their exercise sessions, EARLY in the day (between 8 and 10 am), while others opted for sessions, LATER in the day (between 3 and 6 pm).
The choice had been made, by the participants, based on their scheduling and personal preferences.
Now, these guys were COMMITTED.
98 % of them, attended ALL THE SESSIONS !
And the exercise sessions, had been closely supervised, so the same amount of exercise had happened, in both groups. Our team decided to crunch the numbers, to see if either exercise regimen, had created superior BODY CHEMISTRY.
Weight benefits missing
They already knew, there had been no REAL difference in weight. In fact, to be perfectly honest, the amount of weight lost, had been a big disappointment. To the participants at least ! It hadn’t changed.
Confirming, exercise, without dieting, won’t make you skinny.
NOTE : In the study, the participants had been required to NOT DIET i.e. there dietary habits were the same, throughout the study.
Weighing in on body chemistry
But there was a difference in body chemistry….in both the morning and afternoon exercise groups. Afternoon exercisers, showed the most dramatic improvements.
They were fitter & STRONGER.
The afternoon exercisers, also had lower fasting glucose levels.
But, I am not sure, the difference, was BIG enough, to get “excited” about. What was PROFOUNDLY different, in the afternoon exercise group, was the level of fasting free fatty acids.
Free fatty acids in free fall
In the afternoon exercise group, the number plummeted by 122 uM. The figure dropped in the morning exercisers, too – but the drop was a mere 19 uM.
Maybe you’re thinking………..SO WHAT ?
My doctor doesn’t worry about free fatty acids – he/she obsesses about my cholesterol.
Well, when you’re insulin resistant, pretty much…
EVERYTHING IS UP.
Sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, branch chain amino acids……………… and free fatty acids.
Free fatty acids reflect insulin sensitivity
Increased levels of free fatty acids, thus reflect how well cells are responding, to INSULIN. Some people believe, increased free fatty acids, is what causes, insulin resistance.
The drop in free fatty acids, implies BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY.
This was confirmed, using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, this is currently considered to be THE BEST WAY, to measure the body’s response to insulin.
AFTERNOON exercise is SUPERIOR.
So get on your bicycle AND DO IT !
If it works for your scheduling and personality.
But if it doesn’t………
Exercise at the time that WORKS FOR YOU !
For many people, me included, earlier in the day, is more do-able.
You don’t have to TIME exercise JUST RIGHT, to benefit. But, you do need to get out of that chair, and MOVE, if you want to enjoy, BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY.
NOTE : You don’t need to KILL yourself, to enjoy some of those benefits, simply standing up, at regular intervals, throughout the day……….. will help you create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY and BETTER HEALTH. Click here, to learn more.
Burning fat, is by definition an oxidation reaction i.e. it needs OXYGEN. The unpleasant reality, the harder you’re exercising, the less oxygen is available
Looking for an exercise programme that’ll help you age gracefully, a dancing class is a great option. You get the usual cardiovascular benefits plus brain gains
Modern living is CLOCK LIVING, but just like you, Mother Nature is time sensitive. You need to co-ordinate your diary with your body’s schedule.