Is it easier to lose weight with night workouts? Experts decode a new study

In our crowded lives, it is increasingly difficult to allocate an exact time for exercise at a certain time of day and stick to it. That’s why a new Australian study allows some flexibility by saying that doing moderate to vigorous physical activity in the evening led to better results for those fighting obesity.

According to the study, which was published in Diabetes care, aerobic activities performed between 6 pm and midnight, resulted in a decrease in comorbidities among the obese. So, is there a better time to exercise?


The debate between morning and evening workouts has raged for years. Morning exercise can boost your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day, says Dr KP Singh, director of endocrinology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, and former faculty, department of endocrinology, PGI. Studies suggest that exercising in a fasted state can improve fat oxidation and improve insulin sensitivity. You burn stored fat, making this routine ideal for weight loss.

But for late or shift workers, who may even get tired while working in the morning, the evening is the best time to exercise. Research suggests that muscle strength and power may peak in the late afternoon or early evening, which could lead to improved exercise performance and gains in strength and muscle mass, he adds.

Your body temperature varies throughout the day, according to circadian rhythms, affecting the quality of your training. According to the American Council on Exercise, exercising when your body temperature is at its peak (afternoon, for most people) produces optimal workouts. In general, an ambient temperature between 60-70F or 21C is often considered ideal for most people as it allows for comfortable exertion without overheating.

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For people with diabetes: Activity at night can lower morning glucose levels, which has metabolic benefits. So, if someone with type 2 diabetes or obesity can exercise between 6 pm and midnight, they might want to consider giving it a try, says Dr Gurpreet Singh Babra, Director of Internal Medicine, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Mohali.

For heart patients: the best time would be between 8 and 11 am. If you want to lower your blood pressure or build muscle, the best time to exercise is in the evening. However, it’s important to avoid exercising between midnight and 6 a.m., as this can increase your risk of heart disease.


Prof. Rajesh Vijayvergiya, Department of Cardiology, Advanced Cardiac Center, PGI, Chandigarh, feels that the aim of any exercise should be consistency and regularity. The time depends on individual preferences, the availability of free time, the goals to be achieved with the exercise and the adaptation to personal, social and professional commitments throughout the day. A person should feel stress-free, energetic, flexible and able to concentrate on their work after an exercise session. The best time is when they feel that way, he adds.

It is important not to make any blanket recommendations that might discourage people from exercising. If it will only happen in the morning? Come in. Lunch time? Also, great. It really comes down to the individual doing it when possible to meet their weekly quota of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, he sums up.

Ultimately, the best time to exercise is the time that aligns with your schedule, preferences, and your body’s natural rhythm. Some people thrive on the energy and productivity of morning workouts, while others prefer the stress relief and social aspects of evening exercise.

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