Morning Workout Benefits | Fortune

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A few months ago I noticed that I was having a “terrible, horrible, not good, very bad day”. When I stopped to think about why or what I had done differently in my routine, I realized that I had skipped my usual morning workout. Whether it be while walking my daughter at daycare, jumping on my peloton or doing sun salutations on my yoga mat, movement is an essential part of my morning.

I can tell myself that I’m going to do a workout at noon, but the truth is that I never get there and when the night comes you can forget about it. I always knew I felt better after a morning workout, and it turns out science proves it.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, people who exercise in the morning have a lower risk of heart problems or stroke. Researchers looked at the physical activity levels of more than 85,000 people aged 42 to 78 who wore fitness trackers for a week.

The participants were divided into four groups: those who were most active early in the morning (around 8 a.m.); mid-morning (around 10 a.m.); midday and evening (around 7 p.m.). It was determined that those who exercised before noon had a lower risk of developing heart problems, such as a heart attack. The results were particularly important for women and applicable to both early risers and night owls.

After the initial exercise time was recorded, participants were followed for six to eight years. Nearly 3,000 people developed heart problems and nearly 800 had strokes. Looking at a 24-hour period, the researchers determined that being active between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. was most beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Time your training at the start of your day instead of hit the nap has additional benefits, such as increased focus and decision making; Better sleep; and the release of happiness hormones, such as endorphinsserotonin and norphenylephrine.

The study also found that participants with the highest daily physical activity performed in the late morning had a 16% decreased risk of coronary heart disease and a 17% decreased risk of stroke compared to participants who were training at noon, suggesting that the timing of your workout could be just as important as the coaching himself.

“Our results add to the evidence for the health benefits of physical activity by suggesting that early morning activity, and particularly late morning activity, may be most beneficial,” lead researcher Gali Albalak said in a statement. press release on the study. “It is too early for formal advice to prioritize morning exercise, as this is a fairly new area of ​​research. But we hope that one day we can refine the current recommendations by simply adding one line: “when exercising, it is advisable to do it in the morning”.

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Richard V. Johnson