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Evening workouts are best for blood sugar control

A remarkable new study has revealed that the timing of your workout could be as crucial as the workout itself. If you’re carrying a few extra pounds and leading a mostly sedentary lifestyle, an evening workout may be the key to unlocking better blood sugar control.

Why timing is everything

It’s no secret that regular physical activity is a cornerstone of good health, particularly for those struggling with overweight or obesity. The benefits are widespread, from improved cardiovascular health to enhanced mood and energy levels.

But what about when you exercise? Does it matter whether you hit the gym in the morning, afternoon, or evening?

It turns out, it might. This study, conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Jonatan R. Ruiz, professor of physical activity and health at the University of Granada, delved into the impact of workout timing on blood sugar levels.

“Our results highlight the importance of the field of precision exercise prescription,” said Dr. Ruiz. “In clinical practice, certified sports and medical personnel should consider the optimal timing of the day to enhance the effectiveness of the exercise and physical activity programs they prescribe.”

Evening workouts and blood sugar

The research team analyzed data from 186 adults with overweight or obesity, using accelerometers and continuous glucose-monitoring devices to track their physical activity and blood sugar levels over 14 days.

They categorized the participants into groups based on when they accumulated most of their moderate to vigorous physical activity: morning, afternoon, evening, or mixed.

The findings were eye-opening. Those who got more than half of their daily workout in the evening saw significant improvements in their blood sugar levels throughout the day and night, compared to those who were inactive. This effect was even more pronounced in individuals with impaired glucose regulation.

Evening workouts: Implications for health

If you’re among the millions of adults struggling with overweight, obesity, or blood sugar issues, this research could be a game-changer. An evening workout might be a simple yet effective way to enhance your health and well-being.

“As the field moves towards individualized exercise prescriptions for different chronic conditions, this study now provides additional insights beyond just telling patients to ‘move more,’ but instead to move as often as possible and to prioritize afternoon-to-evening movement when feasible for glucose regulation,” explained Dr. Renee J. Rogers, senior scientist at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Future of exercise: Precision is key

This study isn’t just about evening workouts. It’s about the emerging field of precision exercise prescription, which aims to tailor exercise recommendations to individual needs and goals.

By considering factors like age, health status, and lifestyle, healthcare professionals can develop personalized exercise plans that maximize benefits and minimize risks.

So, if you’re looking to optimize your health and fitness, it’s time to start thinking beyond the “one size fits all” approach. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional or certified trainer to develop an exercise plan that’s tailored to your unique needs.

Remember, the best workout plan is the one you’ll stick with. If an evening workout fits your schedule and helps you achieve your health goals, then lace up your sneakers and get moving. Your body will thank you.

Tips to follow evening workout plan

Incorporating an evening workout into your routine can be a simple and rewarding change. Here’s how to get started:

Set a consistent schedule: Choose a time in the evening that works best for you, ideally between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Consistency is key, so try to stick to this time every day.

Plan your workouts: Decide on the type of exercises you want to do. Options include brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or a home workout routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity.

Prepare in advance: Lay out your workout clothes and any necessary equipment ahead of time. This reduces the chance of skipping your workout due to lack of preparation.

Eat smart: Have a light snack about an hour before your workout to fuel your body. Avoid heavy meals right before exercising.

Warm up and cool down: Start with a gentle warm-up to prepare your muscles and reduce the risk of injury. After your workout, spend a few minutes cooling down and stretching.

Stay hydrated: Drink water before, during, and after your workout to stay hydrated.

Find a workout buddy: Exercising with a friend can keep you motivated and make the experience more enjoyable.

By incorporating these tips, you can seamlessly add an evening workout to your routine and enjoy the benefits of improved blood sugar control and overall health.

The study is published in the Obesity Society’s flagship journal, Obesity.


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