Why women should exercise in the morning – and men in the evening: Study shows women burn fat better in the wee hours, while men benefit from evening exercise
- Men get more benefits from exercising at night, small study finds
- Exercise in the morning and evening brings ‘significant’ benefits to women
- It found that morning workouts worked better for women who wanted to burn any fat
Women may be better off exercising in the morning if they want to burn fat, while men benefit more from exercising in the evening.
A small study suggests that morning fitness classes are better for women looking to lose fat and lose belly inches.
They also found that exercising earlier in the day significantly lowered blood pressure.
But men’s blood pressure, “bad” cholesterol levels and their ability to burn fat all seemed to benefit more from nighttime exercise.
Men may also feel less tired when exercising before dinner than before breakfast.
The results come from a study of 27 women and 20 men who exercised four times a week. About half do this between 6am and 8am, while the rest do it between 6.30 and 8.30pm.
Women looking to lose fat benefit most when they exercise in the morning, this small study shows (file photo)
Dr Paul Arsiro, who led the study at Skidmore College in New York, said: “While exercising in the morning and evening has significant benefits for women’s health and performance, those looking to lose belly fat and lower blood pressure Morning exercise should be considered.”
The study, which involved relatively healthy people between the ages of 25 and 55, found that women who exercised in the morning lost an average of 10 percent of their midsection fat. In contrast, women who exercised at night lost only 3 percent of their belly fat.
While these women didn’t lose weight overall, they lost belly fat, which wraps the body’s internal organs and is bad for health.
Compared with women who exercised in the evening, women who exercised in the morning had a greater reduction in blood pressure. This is thought to be due to reduced stiffness in their blood vessels, but may be driven by morning exercisers who started out with slightly higher blood pressure.
The consolation for night owls is that research shows that exercising before work is difficult, and that women who exercise late have better upper-body strength and explosiveness when asked to lift weights. Men did not show either morning or evening workouts in terms of exercise performance. That day.
However, they were significantly less tired when they exercised at night, had lower blood pressure, and burned more fat as seen from an analysis of their exhaled breath. While men who exercised at night were not found to have less body fat, the study authors suggest this may have occurred over a longer period of time.
Men’s blood pressure, ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and ability to burn fat all appear to benefit more from nighttime exercise, study shows (file photo)
All study men and women were asked to exercise four times a week for 12 weeks. This includes a resistance training session, a stretch (such as yoga or Pilates) and a sprint session, which means 35 minutes of exercise such as swimming or running on the treadmill. Most classes last an hour, although longer cardio exercises like cycling or rowing are included to test endurance.
People in the study all followed a fixed diet for 12 weeks, so food consumption did not affect the results.
It is well known that exercise affects gender differently, especially when it comes to fat.
Women’s hormones and contrasting circadian rhythms may also play a role.
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, found that exercise generally benefited everyone involved in the study, regardless of when it was performed.
The researchers recommend that their findings suggest that women should exercise in the morning to lose fat, but if they want to improve muscle strength, they should exercise in the evening.