SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A study by Skidmore College has revealed the best time for women and men to exercise. Researchers at the college say they confirmed through a randomized, controlled trial, that the effectiveness of exercise depends on the time of day, and that these effects differ between types of exercise and between women and men.
Researchers recruited 30 women and 26 men to participate in the study. All were between 25 and 55 years old, healthy, highly active, nonsmokers, and of healthy weight according to the college. They were trained by coaches over 12 weeks, following the PRISE Program developed by Paul J. Arciero and others. Arciero is a Professor of Health and Human Physiological Sciences at Skidmore College as well as the principal investigator throughout the study.
All participants had been randomized to one of two schedules: exclusively training in the morning (60 minutes between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.), or exclusively training in the evening (60 minutes between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.). Those assigned to the morning ate breakfast after exercise and then ate three meals at four-hour intervals. Those assigned to the evening ate three meals at four-hour intervals before training, and another afterward, according to the college.
At the start and end of the trial, participants were thoroughly assessed for their aerobic power, muscular endurance, flexibility, balance, upper and lower body strength and power, and jumping ability. The research shows that all participants improved in overall health and performance throughout the study.
The study also shows that Exercise Time Of Day (ETOD) impacts the number of improvements in physical performance, body composition, cardiometabolic health, and mood. The study concluded that women interested in reducing belly fat and blood pressure, while also increasing leg muscle, should consider exercising in the morning.
On the other hand, women looking to gain upper body strength, power, and endurance, along with improving their overall mood state and food intake, should exercise in the evening. Men looking to lower their overall blood pressure are advised to work out in the evening time based on the results of the study.