Despite the conflicting evidence regarding determining the optimal timing for physical activity to control weight, an American study revealed that physical activity between seven and nine in the morning may be the key to combating obesity.
In their study published on Tuesday in the journal Obesity, the researchers explained that previous research focused on the frequency, intensity, and duration of physical activity, but few studies examined the effect of the diurnal pattern of physical activity on weight loss rates.
It is not yet clear whether the effect of physical activity at different times of the day is equally associated with reducing obesity.
Globally, more than 1.9 billion adults suffer from overweight, including 650 million who suffer from obesity, according to the study.
To determine the optimal timing for physical activity, researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The data included 5,285 people who were divided into trainees in the morning, midday, and evening.
The participants in the morning group (642 people) were 10 to 13 years older than the other two groups.
This group also had the highest proportion of women, most of whom were primarily non-Hispanic white, had college or higher education, and had never used tobacco or alcohol.
The results revealed that people who met physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity in the morning group had a lower body mass index and smaller waists than their peers in the other two groups.
People in the morning group also reported that they ate a healthier diet and consumed fewer calories per unit of body weight, compared to people who exercised later in the day.
According to the results, people in the morning group also spent a longer amount of time sitting or lying down, without moving, compared to the others.
But the researchers found that despite this, body mass index and waist size continued to be lower in the morning group, compared to the rest of the participants.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, the main researcher of the study, Dr. Tongyu Ma, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Franklin Pierce University in the United States and the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, said: “Morning exercisers may lose more weight than those who exercise in the middle of the day or evening.” ».
He added, “These results are important for people trying to lose weight, because choosing the optimal timing for physical activity can facilitate achieving better results.”
He pointed out that the team plans to conduct future studies and randomized clinical trials to confirm their findings.