New Research: The Impact of Timing on Exercise and Health

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New Research: The Impact of Timing on Exercise and Health

Are you an early riser or a night owl when it comes to physical activity? New research from The University of Sydney suggests that the timing of your workouts could play a significant role in your health outcomes, especially if you're an adult with obesity or type 2 diabetes (T2D).

The study, conducted by researchers at The University of Sydney, aimed to explore the association between the timing of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), microvascular disease (MVD), and all-cause mortality in adults with obesity and T2D.

Research Approach

The study included a substantial sample size, with 29,836 adults with obesity participating, with a mean age of 62.2 years. Additionally, a subset of participants with type 2 diabetes (T2D), totaling 2,995 individuals, were also included in the analysis. These participants were part of the UK Biobank accelerometry substudy.

Over a mean follow-up period of 7.9 years, researchers monitored the participants' physical activity patterns and health outcomes. During this time, 1,425 deaths, 3,980 CVD events, and 2,162 MVD events were recorded.

The Study's Findings

Evening MVPA Takes the Crown: Participants who engaged in aerobic MVPA during the evening experienced the lowest risk of mortality, CVD, and MVD.

Morning and Afternoon Activity Also Matters: While evening exercise showed the most significant benefits, both morning and afternoon MVPA also demonstrated positive associations with reduced risk, though slightly weaker than those observed for evening activity.

What This Means for You

These findings highlight the importance of considering when you exercise, especially if you're managing obesity or T2D. Incorporating moderate to vigorous physical activity into your routine, particularly during the evening, could significantly impact your long-term health outcomes.

Personalised Fitness

However, it's crucial to remember that what works best for you might not align with the general trends observed in this study. We all have busy schedules and varying preferences when it comes to physical activity. The key is to find a time that you can consistently incorporate into your routine. Whether you prefer the tranquility of a morning workout, the midday energy boost, or the stress-relief of an evening sweat session, the most important thing is to stay active regularly.

Final Thoughts

The timing of your physical activity could play a vital role in managing obesity and T2D, as well as reducing the risk of cardiovascular and microvascular diseases. So, whether you're lacing up your sneakers at the crack of dawn or hitting the gym after a long day of work, remember that every step counts towards a healthier you.

As always, it's essential to listen to your body, find what works for you, and make physical activity a consistent part of your lifestyle. So, go ahead, find your fitness groove, and let's sweat our way to better health together!


  1. Timing of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity, Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease, and Microvascular Disease in Adults With Obesity
    Published in The Diabetes Journal.
    Angelo Sabag; Matthew N. Ahmadi; Monique E. Francois; Svetlana Postnova; Peter A. Cistulli; Luigi Fontana; Emmanuel Stamatakis

  2. What Is Moderate to Vigorous Exercise Intensity?
    Published in Frontiers in Physiology
    Authors: Brian R. MacIntosh; Juan M. Murias; Daniel A. Keir; and Jamie M. Weir

  3. What is Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)?
    By World Health Organisation

  4. What is Coronary Microvascular Disease (MVD)?
    By American Heart Association

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