For my health, what is the best time of the day to practice physical exercise?

14 May, 2024

Evening/night moderate/vigorous exercise reduces mortality, improves metabolic health.

Obesity is a significant risk factor for the development of fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) and cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, stroke) and therefore, premature death. It is known that physical exercise contributes significantly to the treatment of the diseases mentioned above, but no studies have been conducted to determine what time of day exercise is most beneficial for health.

A work with obese people (body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2) has been published in the journal Diabetes Care, studying the time of day in which exercise should be practiced to obtain the maximum benefit for health.

A total of 24,660 people with obesity were included, classifying the degree of physical activity they carried out in their daily lives as: sedentary, standing activities (ironing a shirt, washing dishes), walking activities (walking to work, mopping floors, sweeping, etc.) and running activities (such as actively playing with children). In turn, each of these activities was divided according to their intensity into light, moderate or vigorous. Finally, it was determined the time slot in which they carried out most of this activity: morning (from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm), afternoon (from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm) and evening/night (from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am).

What is the best time to practice sports?

It was found that the risk of mortality was between 25-32% lower in people who performed moderate/vigorous physical activity in the afternoon/night compared to the rest of the participants. In addition, insulin resistance and therefore glucose metabolism improved in 25% of them. Finally, this group that carried out moderate/vigorous activity in the afternoon/night had the lowest incidence of cardiovascular accidents and a decrease in blood pressure.

The Foundation’s doctors believe that these results can be extrapolated to fatty liver since this disease is associated with cardiovascular accidents (myocardial infarction, stroke) and diabetes. Therefore, it is recommended that patients with fatty liver, in addition to doing at least 3 hours of physical exercise a week, practice this exercise between 6:00 pm to 12:00 am.

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