Chalk One Up for Exercising at Night

New study suggests the hours between 6pm and midnight are most beneficial
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2024 1:35 PM CDT
Chalk One Up for Exercising at Night
A new study suggests that exercising at night might provide more benefits.   (Getty / dusanpetkovic)

In the longstanding debate over whether there's a best time of day to exercise, a new study from the University of Sydney adds some ammo for evening or nighttime advocates. Using data from the UK Biobank, a long-term research project that tracks health markers over time, the researchers followed a cohort of nearly 30,000 participants over the age of 40 who were deemed obese, Gizmodo reports. While all participants who exercised fared better, those who did so between 6pm and midnight had the lowest risk of developing cardiovascular disease (or dying in general). Looking at a subset of that group with type 2 diabetes, the evening or nighttime exercises had the same results.

Per VNY, researchers found that any activity that increased a person's heart rate for as little as 3 minutes came with benefits. "We didn't discriminate on the kind of activity we tracked—it could be anything from power walking to climbing the stairs, but could also include structured exercise such as running, occupational labor, or even vigorously cleaning the house," said co-author Dr. Matthew Ahmadi.

More research is needed to prove correlation, but the large number of people connected to this study makes the findings "significant," per Science Daily. "Timing of physical activity may play a role in the future of obesity and (type 2 diabetes) management," wrote the researchers. (Another study suggests that women get the same exercise benefits as men in half the time.)

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