Do you experience more health benefits if you work out at a specific time of day? Find out when your exercise matters.
According to a large new prospective study, exercising at a particular time of day may provide the best heart and brain health benefits. The study, which appears in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, suggests that morning exercise (between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.) may have the greatest effect on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke risk.
“This is the largest prospective study to date in more than 86,000 participants, over a six-year follow-up period, examining the effects of exercise time of day, or ‘chronoactivity,’ on cardiovascular disease [heart attack and stroke] risk,” stated Dr. Paul Arciero, professor in the Human Physiological Sciences Department at Skidmore College in Sarasota Springs, NY.
“I think this study does a great job of trying to tackle a few of the biggest challenges in physical activity intervention research,” said Dr. Asad R. Siddiqi, a sports medicine and rehabilitation expert at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian in New York. “Namely, [the] scale of study, generalizability, and follow-up interval.” Neither of these doctors was involved in the study.
The Sweet Spot
The researchers found that people who worked out at 11 a.m. were 16 percent less likely to develop coronary artery disease (CAD) and 17 percent less likely to have a first stroke of any kind. In addition, they were 21 percent less likely to have a first ischemic stroke.
“In support of this large prospective study, a recent 3-month exercise intervention study published from our laboratory with a group of middle-aged, healthy-weight women and men showed that women exercising in the morning reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure to a significantly greater amount (-10% vs. -3%) compared to women exercising in the evening,” said Arciero. “Thus, our data also supports morning exercise in women to improve cardiovascular health, and therefore lower incident risk for CVD.”
Improving Your Health
While the study found that exercise in the morning was the most beneficial, more research is necessary to back up the study findings. Furthermore, Siddiqi emphasizes that exercising at any time of the day is better than not exercising at all.
“For the majority of people, we are simply trying to introduce the habit of physical activity, and so any time of day is better than nothing,” noted Siddiqi. “As a general rule, though, I try to make exercise promotion simple and flexible to increase adoption, recognizing that timing of exercise is a fine adjustment that has practical aspects and limitations.”
In other words, if you don’t have time in the morning to exercise, then don’t worry – just make sure you do it. In addition to exercising, other healthy habits like eating balanced meals and taking supplements like HeartBeet Complete can boost your health.
For instance, HeartBeet Complete contains ingredients that support healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and overall health. If you want to promote your health, then start exercising regularly, eating healthily, and taking HeartBeet Complete.