Study suggests best exercise times differs by sex and training objectives

June 2, 2022
Study suggests best exercise times differs by sex and training objectives

The effects that time of day might have on the effectiveness of exercise varies if you are a man or a woman, and on the desired outcome of the type of exercise as well. Investigators at Skidmore College, New York, said – from a recent study of some 50 men and women – that men benefitted from evening exercise, while benefits varied depending on the training objectives for women, according to the time of day.

“Here we show for the first time that for women, exercise during the morning reduces belly fat and blood pressure, whereas evening exercise in women increases upper body muscular strength, power, and endurance, and improves overall mood and nutritional satiety,” said Dr. Paul Arciero, a Professor at the Health and Human Physiological Sciences Department of Skidmore College.

“We also show that for men, evening exercise lowers blood pressure, the risk of heart disease, and feelings of fatigue, and burns more fat, compared to morning exercise,” Dr. Arciero added.

The study placed particular focus on differences between healthy men and women when it came to exercise. The participants recruited for this purpose were trained by coaches in 60-minute sessions for four days a week, with each day focusing on resistance, sprint interval, stretching, or endurance training – the only difference was whether they exercised in the morning or in the evening. All participants followed a careful meal plan.

Investigators found that while all women participants had lowered abdominal, hip, and total body fat, as well as improved health and performance, the morning exercise group showed greater improvements.

In contrast, only men that exercised in the evening saw improvements to their cholesterol, blood pressure, respiratory exchange ratio, and carbohydrate oxidation.

Regular exercise is important regardless of what time it takes place, but this study could help inform people about exercise times based on their sex or what they want to get out of it.

Category: Education, Features

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