By Amanda Starrantino and Molly McCrea
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5)-When it comes to exercising and getting in shape, researchers say it may not be how you exercise, but the time of day can give you an edge.
On weekends at Crissy Field in San Francisco, many people go out to stretch their legs, get some fresh air, and do a little fun.
KPIX 5 asked a number of active people when is the best time for them to exercise and we got different answers: some said in the morning, others in the afternoon, and some was forced into the night.
The research involves two studies done in The Netherlands. KPIX 5 spoke with Dr. Patrick Schrauwen sa University of Maastricht, one of the leading researchers.
Schrauwen is a professor on aspects of Type 2 diabetes and specializes in human nutrition and movement.
One focus of his research involves trying to better understand Type 2 diabetes and how we can prevent it or treat it through lifestyle interventions.
In this study, nearly two dozen men were assigned to do the same exercise. They are all between the ages of 30-45 and prediabetic, meaning they all have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal. No one took medications or worked swing-shifts.
Some are instructed to exercise in the morning between 8 and 10 in the morning; others made the routine between 3 and 6 p.m. By the end of the study, all men had improved their heart fitness but one group performed better when it came to their metabolic health.
“It’s quite surprising,” Schrauwen commented.
Those who exercise later in the day get a bigger bang, metabolically speaking.
“Those who trained in the afternoon had a much more beneficial effect of exercise training then those who trained in the morning,” Schrauwen explains.
Those who exercised in the afternoon had a large drop in blood sugar, and were more in control of it. They also lost more belly fat than those who exercised in the morning.
“I thought it was really attractive,” Drs. Lynda Frassetto on KPIX 5.
Frassetto specializes in kidney diseases, including those carried by diabetes. Most of his work today is in San Francisco VA
For many years, Frassetto studied how certain foods, such as those eaten by our ancestors in ancient times including plants, nuts, and meat can lower blood sugar and improve the health of metabolic. He was shocked to hear that afternoon exercise could produce similar benefits.
“The idea that makes a difference in terms of the results you get is a fantastic idea,” Frassetto said.
Like why does time of day make a difference? That too may have roots in our Paleolithic past.
“This may be due to the fact that our ancestors – hunters, gatherers, farmers went out into the wild. They had to run back before sunset,” commented Dr. Satchin Panda of the Salk Institute.
Panda is a world -renowned expert on circadian rhythm or in other words, our internal 24 -hour biological clock. He studies the cells and genes that keep time in our bodies.
He told KPIX 5 that the very cell, tissue, and organ in our body has a clock. These clocks are controlled and synced up, by a master clock or brain.
The brain constantly sends signals to the rest of the body that instruct them when to perform essential functions in a particular sequence.
“Our body can’t do everything at once like sleep, eat, exercise at the same time,” Panda further explains.
Thanks to circadian clocks that run in 24-hour cycles, people know when to wake up, when to sleep, when to eat, when to start digesting food, when to repair tissue or remove toxins. body, and even to optimize metabolism.
Since ancient times, these cycles have been calibrated daily by a predictable event.
“Every day the sun will rise and the night will be dark,” Panda said.
Panda explained that the end of the day can be the best time to exercise because the sunshine is ending and thanks to our circadian clocks, our muscles, joints, and metabolism have reached peak capacity. He explained that maximum ability is the time where we can exercise more with less effort.
Schauwen told KPIX 5 that an afternoon workout can help us to faster metabolism the last meal of the day, put into a deep sleep, and into a state of fasting.
“Fasting will give you all sorts of biological responses that are usually trying to improve your health,” the researchers said.
What about Frassetto? He believes it is time to replicate this study with a larger group of people and include women.
“There’s clearly something about circadian rhythms that affects the way our bodies work,” the Bay Area expert said.
All of our experts agree that any exercise is good exercise. If you can’t exercise in the afternoon, exercise when is the right time for you.
To better understand your circadian clock, the Salk Institute app has released an app. The call here “myCircadianClock, ”Which is part of an ongoing research project.
You will be better able to monitor your daily behaviors that are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and see how well you sleep, move and eat along with other activities. After at least 10 days of data collection, myCircadianClock will begin providing feedback about your eating, sleep, and activity patterns.
In return, you help scientists at the Salk Institute by providing them with data, and helping them better advance research into our biological factors.