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Exercise Behavior Cardio-Vascular Diabetes

Exercising At Night May Be Better For You

2 months ago

3431  0
Posted on Apr 11, 2024, 3 p.m.

Doing the majority of exercise and physical activity in the evening has been linked to the greatest health benefits for those with obesity, according to a recent study of 30,000 people enrolled in the UK Biobank who were followed for close to 8 years published in the journal Diabetes Care that was carried out by researchers at the University of Sydney, Australia. 

To investigate if the time of day you move your body makes a difference to your health, this study involved 29,836 participants over the age of 40 with obesity who wore wrist wearables for 24 hours a day to track and categorize their physical activity by morning, afternoon, or evening. Then, data was linked from their health records to follow their health trajectory for 7.9 years, during this time there were 1,425 deaths, 3,980 cardiovascular events, and 2,162 microvascular dysfunction events. 

After accounting for a range of potentially influencing factors, the analysis of the data revealed that those who did the majority of their moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity between 6 PM and midnight had the lowest risk of premature death as well as death from cardiovascular disease. Additionally, the frequency of which the participants did their moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity in the evening, measured in short bouts up to or exceeding three minutes appeared to be more important than the total amount of daily physical activity. 

"Due to a number of complex societal factors, around two in three Australians have excess weight or obesity which puts them at a much greater risk of major cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks and stroke, and premature death," said Dr Angelo Sabag, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of Sydney. "Exercise is by no means the only solution to the obesity crisis, but this research does suggest that people who can plan their activity into certain times of the day may best offset some of these health risks."

It was noted that rather than tracking structured exercise this large-scale study focused on tracking continuous moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity in bouts of three minutes or longer as previous research shows a strong association between this type of activity, glucose control, and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease compared with shorter non-aerobic bouts. 

"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 labour or even vigorously cleaning the house," said Dr. Ahmadi, National Heart Foundation postdoctoral research fellow at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney.

"It is a really exciting time for researchers in this field and practitioners alike, as wearable device-captured data allow us to examine physical activity patterns at a very high resolution and accurately translate findings into advice that could play an important role in health care," said Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, Director of the Mackenzie Wearables Research Hub at the Charles Perkins Centre and senior author on the paper.

"While we need to do further research to establish causal links, this study suggests that the timing of physical activity could be an important part of the recommendations for future obesity and Type 2 diabetes management, and preventive healthcare in general."

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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