Is it better to exercise in the morning or afternoon?

The current lifestyle has led us to eliminate physical activities that our grandparents usually did, such as working in the fields. To make matters worse, we have replaced them with sedentary activities such as watching TV on the couch. This has generated a worrying problem in Spain: in the last 30 years, the incidence of diseases such as diabetes and cholesterol has doubled, according to data revealed by the 2020 European Health Survey.

This alarming increase forces us to rethink our lifestyles and explore affordable solutions that improve our well-being. One of these solutions, which is available to everyone, is as simple as it is effective: doing physical exercise!

Today, exercise is considered medicine, since it is capable of improving a wide spectrum of diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. However, not all people have the same energy throughout the day. Some of us experience an energy spike in the morning, making us more inclined to exercise at that time in the early hours of the day. Others, however, prefer to take advantage of the afternoon or evening to give their all in their exercise routines.

From there a natural question arises: is it equally beneficial to exercise in the morning as in the afternoon? This question has become a topic of great interest in the scientific community.

To control sugar and improve cardiovascular health, exercise in the afternoon

In recent years, scientific evidence has accumulated comparing the effects of morning exercise versus the evening A recent meta-analysis evaluated the joint effect of 9 studies in which a total of 450 people participated. The results revealed that exercise in the afternoon is more beneficial for cardiovascular health.

The conclusion was obtained after observing a greater reduction in blood triglyceride levels after evening exercise. Physical activity at this time is also the best option to reduce tension in people with high blood pressure. As if that were not enough, in people with type 2 diabetes, exercise in the afternoon is more effective in controlling blood sugar levels.

It is important to note that this line of research is very recent, and it must be clear that exercise is always beneficial, regardless of the time in which it is performed. Those who do not have time flexibility to choose when to exercise can continue doing so in the morning. And in that case, they will obtain an extra benefit by improving their attention, memory and decision-making capacity.

Tips for choosing the best time to train

There are also studies that suggest that exercising in the afternoon may have a slightly more pronounced effect on weight loss. In addition, physical activity at the end of the day seems to reduce appetite.

However, it is crucial to understand that exercise alone is not the best strategy for weight loss. Therefore, if our fundamental objective is to take a bite out of the scale, exercise must be accompanied by nutritional adjustments, regardless of what time it is practiced.

When we plan to exercise in the afternoon, the choice of the type of exercise is relevant. It is advisable to avoid vigorous activities and weight training in the hours before sleep, because it could adversely affect the quality and duration of sleep.

To ensure a restful sleep, it is advisable to allow at least two hours to pass between vigorous afternoon exercise and bedtime. This contributes to having a more effective and healthy night’s rest, something very relevant for those people who have trouble falling asleep.

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