The research also found that if you work out in the morning instead of at other times of the day, you could cut your chances of having a stroke.
We all know that exercise is good for you in many ways. Not only does it work out some organs and muscles, but it can also help us stay at a healthy weight and make us feel better. Now, a study has shown that the time of day you work out may matter.
The paper, which was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found that being active between 8 am and 11 am was linked to a lower risk of heart disease and strokes.
Gali Albalak of Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, who led the study, said in a press release from the European Society of Cardiology, “It is well known that exercise is good for heart health, and our study shows that morning activity seems to be most helpful.”
“The results were clearest in women, but they were true for both early birds and night owls.” As part of the study, the team used information from the UK Biobank about more than 86,600 healthy people between the ages of 42 and 78.
For a week, the people who took part wore an activity tracker on their wrists. Then, they were watched to see if they got cardiovascular disease. This was defined as a first trip to the hospital or death because of heart disease or a stroke.
In the next six to eight years, about 3,000 participants got coronary artery disease and up to 800 had a stroke. Over the course of 24 hours, it was found that people who were most active between 8 am and 11 am had the lowest risk of heart disease and stroke.
In the second analysis, people were put into four groups based on the time of their activities: 12 p.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., and 7 p.m.
Compared to the reference group, those who were most active at 8 am or 10 am had 11 percent and 16 percent lower chances of getting coronary artery disease.
And people who were most active at 10 a.m. were 17% less likely to have a stroke.
When the results were looked at separately by gender, it was found that the results were most noticeable in women but were no longer important in men.
Women who were most active at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. were 22% and 24% less likely to get coronary artery disease. And women who were the most active at 10 a.m. were 35% less likely to have a stroke.
Ms. Albalak also said, “This was an observational study, so we don’t know why the links were stronger in women.”
“Our results add to the evidence that being physically active is good for your health. They suggest that morning activity, and especially late morning activity, may be the most helpful.”