Pinpointing the best time to do your exercises

For those trying to lose weight, a recent report indicates the time of day can make a difference when it comes to working out.

And those looking to run longer distances, may want to pick later in the day.

Some people are morning exercisers. For them, an early run or swim is as much a part of their wake-up ritual as that first cup of coffee. Others can't abide the idea. They need a nighttime workout to rid themselves of the day's stresses.

Does it make a difference? Several recent studies suggest that it does. But it's complicated.

One recent paper indicates that morning exercise may activate certain genes in the muscle cells, boosting their ability to metabolize sugar and fat. While scientists say this finding requires further study, they think it ultimately might help those who are overweight or suffering from Type 2 diabetes.

Can exercising in the morning compared to later at night make a difference in weight loss? A new report suggests that could help tip the scales. Photo illustration by Metro Newspaper Service

Can exercising in the morning compared to later at night make a difference in weight loss? A new report suggests that could help tip the scales. Photo illustration by Metro Newspaper Service

An evening workout, on the other hand, uses less oxygen, making workouts more efficient and improving athletic performance, potentially a boon for serious competitors.

"Human exercise performance is better in the evening compared to the morning, as (athletes) consume less oxygen, that is, they use less energy, for the same intensity of exercise in the evening versus the morning," said Gad Asher, a researcher in the Weizmann Institute of Science's department of biomolecular sciences, and author of one of the studies.

"It means, for example, if a person needs to go for a run, he will reach exhaustion earlier in the morning compared to the evening," Asher said. "In other words, he will be able to run for a longer duration in the evening compared to the morning under the same running conditions."

Asher's group put mice on treadmills at different times of day and studied their exercise capacity at different intensities and regimens. They found that overall exercise performance was vastly better - about 50 percent on average - during the "mouse evening," compared to the morning hours. They also studied 12 humans and saw similar results. Overall, the human subjects consumed less oxygen while exercising in the evening, compared with morning. 

For full article, go to: Brainerd Dispatch

Source, image(s), credits & more: Brainerd Dispatch | Marlene Cimons / Special To The Washington Post