What’s the Best Time of Day to Exercise?

There is no question that exercising on a regular basis is crucial to good health. However, there has been some debate as to what time of day is best for a workout.

While the simple answer is that different times work for different people, there is some new research which suggests that after dinner is the best time for those living with type 2 diabetes.

As a general rule for healthy individuals, how regularly you exercise matters more than when you do it. According to Dr. Russell Pate, a professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina, “the best time of the day is when you will do it most consistently, because the benefits of physical activity are tightly linked to the amount you do on a consistent basis.”

There are scheduling factors to consider, of course. Do you have time for a brisk walk or a round on the exercise bike before work in the mornings? Do you have a break in the afternoon, or do you zoom straight to the kids’ activities? If you exercise after dinner, does it make you too wired to get to sleep on time?

These are a few questions you can ask yourself when scheduling your workouts into your day. Try to make it the same days every week if you can – around the same time if possible. That way, your regimen will be easier to stick to.

For individuals with type 2 diabetes, who are at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, the answer may be different. A new study performed at the University of Missouri studied a group of participants with type 2 diabetes. Some performed their workouts before dinner, and some performed them after dinner. Workouts centered around resistance training.

workoutResults showed that the participants who worked out before dinner displayed lowered blood sugar. However, those that exercised after dinner displayed lowered blood sugar and fat levels. According to researcher Jill Kanaley, “results from this study show that resistance exercise has its most powerful effect on reducing glucose and fat levels in one’s blood when performed after dinner.”

So, while more research needs to be done on this, and is planned, if you have type 2 diabetes, or are pre-diabetic, you may wish to talk to your doctor about exercising after dinner, and develop a workout plan that’s right for you.

If you don’t have a medical condition, however, current recommendations dictate that you’ll get the benefits of exercise no matter what time you do it – as long as you stick to your routine!

-The Alternative Daily


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