Morning for the heart, evening for the muscles: how to choose the time of training to achieve maximum results

Researchers have found out how exercise affects the body at different times of the day

Researchers have found out how exercise affects the body at different times of the day

A photo: Mikhail FROLOV

No one argues with the fact that reasonable physical activity is of great benefit and ultimately prolongs life. But is the effect on the body of morning exercises and evening workouts different? It is logical to assume that yes. At least because we have daily (or circadian) biorhythms. That is, various processes in the body and in the brain go on with different intensity at different times of the day and night.

Scientists at Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands) analyzed health data of more than 85 thousand people. None of them suffered from cardiovascular diseases at the time of the beginning of the observations. Within 6-8 years, 2911 patients developed coronary heart disease (CHD). 797 study participants had a stroke.

The authors of the scientific work asked volunteers to wear bracelets on their wrists that measure physical activity for a week. Thanks to this, it became clear who at what time of the day is more likely to play sports. Comparing various indicators, scientists figured outhow morning and evening workouts affect the risk of severe heart disease and vascular accidents. The picture turned out like this:

– playing sports in the period from 8 to 11 in the morning turned out to be much more effective for protecting the “flaming motor” than evening physical exercises – starting from 19.00;

– Most useful for the circulatory system, judging by the results of the study, training in the late morning;

– for those who warmed up at 11 am, the risk of coronary artery disease decreased by 16%. And the risk of stroke was reduced by 17%;

– charging at 8 and 10 am is also good, although it reduces threats a little less noticeably. In particular, scientists mention that the earliest exercise (at 8) reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 11%.

And another interesting twist. In addition to the average figures, the researchers separately analyzed the role of the time of day in physical activity in women. It turned out that the ladies, who are traditionally considered more sensitive, react more intensively in this case. Thus, the risk of stroke when playing sports at 11 am is reduced by as much as 35%! In general, women who exercise in the morning (between 8 and 11 o’clock) have a 22-24% less risk of developing coronary artery disease than with evening physical activity.

– We cannot explain why the effect [физнагрузок] was more prominent in women, commented results of one of the authors of the study Gali Albalak. – But in any case, our work serves as additional evidence of the health benefits of physical activity. At the same time, morning activity, especially late, may be the most effective.


For muscle strength and mood we train in the evening

A little earlier, in another researchThe scientists found this:

– in women, during morning workouts, abdominal fat is burned better: 7% more than during evening sports;

– blood pressure is also reduced more effectively;

– on the other hand, evening workouts are better at helping to cheer up, the participants in the study said;

– objective measurements showed that muscle strength after evening sports in women increased by 29% more than after morning workouts.

Men in this study were also less sensitive to the influence of the time of day. The authors of the scientific work noted only that in the representatives of the stronger sex, evening training most noticeably reduced fatigue. Did it prevent you from falling asleep later? Volunteers were not asked. For good sleep, doctors recommend stopping sports 3-4 hours before going to bed.


How much do you need to practice?

The duration of physical activity in the described studies is not specified. However, scientists remind general guidelines from the guidelines (recommendations) of the European Society of Cardiology:

– 150 – 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week;

– or 75 – 150 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise.

What does it mean? Experts of the National Medical Research Center for Therapy and Preventive Medicine explain: with moderate physical activity, the pulse rises slightly, the person feels warm (does not sweat!) and slight shortness of breath. Examples: brisk walking, swimming, cycling on flat ground, or hiking (not running) skiing.

With intense physical activity, the heart rate noticeably jumps and sweat comes out. Examples: running, aerobics, fast cycling, hill climbing.

! Experts advise to distribute physical activity evenly over the days of the week. It is better to do 3-5 (ideally – a little 7 days). Attempts to dial the entire norm for a couple of times are fraught with overload and harm to health.

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