Early Exercise Can Help Burn Fat Faster, According to New Study
Exercising in the morning could be more effective in fat burning than in the evening, according to a new study by researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that physical activity at an early active phase increased the expression of genes involved in the breakdown of fatty tissue, heat production, and cells in the fat tissue that indicate a higher metabolic rate.
This is due to the circadian rhythm of the cells, the 24-hour cycle that is part of the body’s internal clock. To test this, the researchers divided mice into two groups – one group exercised three hours after the lights went off, and the other woke up to exercise after sleeping for three hours, equivalent to sleeping from 10 pm to 1 am and then hitting the gym.
Women who want to lose fat around their belly and hips should exercise in the morning, as the study found that early active phase exercise increases expression of genes involved in fat breakdown. Early exercise also increased the expression of genes involved in the breakdown of adipose tissue and some other functions associated with a higher metabolic rate.
Exercise plays an important role in overall health, and adults are advised to do two-and-a-half hours per week of moderate activity such as cycling or brisk walking, and a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity such as running or tennis.
However, the researchers say that their comparison is limited by the fact mice are nocturnal, and more studies are needed to draw any reliable conclusions about the relevance of their findings to humans. “Having a target amount of physical activity to aim for will be useful for health care and exercise professionals to develop personalized approaches as they help patients modify their lifestyles and become more physically active,” said Jonathan Stine, co-author of the study.
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