What if you did sports at the end of the day to be healthier?

What if you did sports at the end of the day to be healthier?

While the benefits of physical activity are no longer in doubt, questions persist about the best time to exercise. An Australian study attempts to answer this. She thus affirms that doing sport at the end of the day is particularly beneficial for obese or overweight people.

The authors of this research, published in the journal Diabetes Care, arrived at this conclusion after analyzing the health data of 30,000 people over the age of 40, who were obese or overweight, for eight long years. Some of them had even been previously diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes.

Between 6 p.m. and midnight, the best time?

The researchers classified the participants into three categories based on the time of day during which they exercised physically (morning, afternoon, evening). They paid particular attention to any moderate to vigorous physical activity, done for at least three minutes at a time, because of its proven association with better glucose regulation and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. “We did not make a distinction on the type of activity we followed. This can range from brisk walking to climbing stairs, but it can also include more structured physical exercise such as running (…) or even vigorously cleaning your house“, says Dr. Matthew Ahmadi, lead author of the study, in a press release.

After taking into account various factors, such as age, gender, smoking and consumption of fruits and vegetables, the researchers found that subjects who exercise physically at the end of the day, more precisely between 6 p.m. and midnight , have the lowest risks of premature death and cardiovascular disease.

Towards new medical recommendations?

The findings of this study pave the way for the development of new medical recommendations for overweight or obese adults. “Exercise is by no means the one and only solution to the obesity crisis, but this research suggests that people who schedule their physical activities during certain times of the day can better protect themselves from some of the risks (associated obesity and type 2 diabetes)“, says Dr. Angelo Sabag, co-signatory of this research, in the same press release.

It is interesting to note that a study, published in 2023 in the journal Obesity, states that it is better to do sports at the start of the day. Exercising between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. would help you manage your weight optimally. However, this research involves a smaller panel of participants than that appearing in the journal Diabetes Care, and has certain methodological limitations.

The importance of physical activity once again demonstrated

In any case, these two studies are part of a growing body of scientific work attesting to the importance of physical activity in the care pathway for people who are obese or overweight. It is estimated that more than a billion people are obese worldwide. In just over thirty years, the obesity rate has more than doubled for adults, and quadrupled for children and adolescents, according to a vast study on the subject, published on March 1, in the Lancet journal. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes overweight and obesity as the fifth leading cause of death worldwide, making it one of the greatest challenges in medical research.