If you’re someone who likes to get their exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, you might want to consider shifting your schedule. According to a new study, evenings could be the best time of day to work out — especially if you’re trying to lower your blood sugar or cholesterol levels.
Research published in Diabetologia compared the effects of morning and evening workouts for men in their 30s and 40s who consumed a high-fat diet. All of the participants found improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, which basically means their heart and breathing functions got better as they went along. However, only those who waited for the evening to break a sweat showed improvements in fasting glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
Lead study author Trine Moholdt also pointed out another promising result for anyone trying to keep their blood sugar in check: “The group who exercised in the early evening had lower nocturnal glucose concentrations. That is important because one of the things that individuals with type 2 diabetes experience are nocturnal spikes in glucose, so when they go to sleep their glucose peaks and spikes in the night.”
Although more studies need to be done on the subject, these recent findings back up similar research from 2019. This time, authors found that afternoon HIIT workouts were more effective at improving blood sugar levels in their participants versus morning ones. In fact, the AM exercise seemed to cause a slight increase in glucose levels.
Again, these studies need more research to verify their results. But if you’re someone who’s trying to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, waiting for the evening to exercise just might make a big difference.
Even more good news? Another recent study found that there’s no need to shed a ton of weight with your workouts. Losing just about four to six pounds can slash your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half!