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  • Cameron Oglesby

What’s a better time for exercise – morning or evening?

It depends.

Medical research has found that exercise in general can help promote heart health, prolong life, and postpone the onset of dementia.

But what about specific exercises at specific times of day? Then things begin to get complicated.

Because more recent medical research has discovered that the best tine of day for you to exercise depends on who you are: whether you’re male or female, what your goals are, which chronic conditions you might have, what your circadian rhythms are like – and on non-medical factors such as what else is on your schedule.

For example, one study found that women who worked out in the morning consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than women who worked out evenings. On the other hand, another study found that men who did resistance training grew more muscle mass evenings than mornings. That’s because their bodies produced more testosterone, which is important for muscle growth, later in the day.

A small Skidmore University study comparing morning and evening exercisers found that women who exercised in the morning had a 7% greater loss of belly fat, lowered their blood pressure and strengthened their legs more, while men who worked out in the evening lost more weight, reduced their blood pressure, and enjoyed better heart and metabolic health.

If you’re a man with Type 2 diabetes, or at high risk of it, when you exercise can make a big difference. In a 2019 study, men with Type 2 diabetes experienced spikes in their sugar levels after intense morning workouts, but improved blood-sugar control following the same exercises in the afternoon. In another study a year later, men at high risk for Type 2 diabetes who started exercising three times a week developed better insulin sensitivity and blood-sugar control if they worked out afternoons instead of mornings.

All that being said, if there are special times of day you enjoy walking your dog, if you like to get together with the guys over morning coffee for Monday morning quarterbacking, if you really look forward to your weekly bridge games, if you’re taking that course you regretted missing out on in college, remember one thing: exercise is important, but there’s more to quality of life. And quality of life means different things to different people.

That’s why the first thing we do on meeting new prospective clients is to find out just what quality of life means to them. What we learn through our initial three-part assessment of their health, cognitive, and psychosocial needs shapes a custom-designed, holistic senor care management plan based not just on their individual health needs, but also on their own individual likes and dislikes, values, priorities, preferences, schedules and interests.

Please contact us to learn what a difference that can make.

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