By Amanda Starrantino and Molly McCrea
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – When it comes to training and getting in shape, researchers say it might not be how you train, but the time of day can give you an advantage.
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On weekends at Crissy Field in San Francisco, crowds of people come out to stretch their legs, get some fresh air and do some recess.
KPIX 5 asked a number of active people when is the best time for them to train and we got a variety of responses: some said in the morning, some said in the afternoon, and a few said. insisted in the evening.
The research includes two studies carried out in the Netherlands. KPIX 5 spoke with Dr Patrick Schrauwen from Maastricht University, one of the principal investigators.
Schrauwen is a professor of aspects of type 2 diabetes and an expert in nutrition and human movement.
One goal of his research is to try to better understand type 2 diabetes and how we prevent or treat it with lifestyle interventions.
In this study, about two dozen men were assigned to do the same exercise. They were all between the ages of 30 and 45 and were prediabetic, meaning they all had higher than normal blood sugar levels. No one was taking medication or working shift schedules.
Some were assigned to exercise in the morning between 8 and 10 a.m. others did the routine between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. At the end of the study, all of the men improved their cardiovascular fitness, but one group did better when it came to their metabolic health.
“It was quite surprising,” Schrauwen commented.
Those who worked out later in the day got a bigger hit, metabolically speaking.
“Those who trained in the afternoon had more beneficial effects from physical training than those who trained in the morning,” Schrauwen explained.
The sportsmen in the afternoon had a greater drop in blood sugar and much more control over it. They also lost more belly fat than those who exercised in the morning.
“I thought it was absolutely fascinating,” Dr Lynda Frassetto told KPIX 5.
Frassetto specializes in kidney disease, including those caused by diabetes. Most of his work these days is at the San Francisco VA
For years, Frassetto has studied how certain foods, such as those eaten by our prehistoric ancestors, including plants, nuts, and meats, can lower blood sugar and improve metabolic health. She is amazed to learn that afternoon exercise can produce similar benefits.
“The idea that it makes a difference in terms of the results you get was just an amazing idea,” Frassetto said.
Why does the time of day make a difference? This too may have roots in our Paleolithic past.
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“It may be because our ancestors – hunters, gatherers, farmers went into the wild. They had to run home before sunset, ”commented Dr Satchin Panda of the Salk Institute.
Panda is a globally recognized expert in circadian rhythms or, in other words, our internal 24 hour biological clocks. He studies the cells and genes that keep time in our body.
He told KPIX 5 that the cells, tissues and organs in our body have a clock. These clocks are all controlled and synchronized, by a master clock or the brain.
The brain is constantly sending signals to the rest of the body to tell it when to perform essential functions in a particular order.
“Our body cannot do everything at once like sleeping, eating, exercising at the same time,” Panda explained.
Thanks to these circadian clocks that work on 24-hour cycles, humans know when to wake up, when to fall asleep, when to eat, when to start digesting food, when to repair tissue or remove toxins from the body, and even when to optimize. metabolism.
Since prehistoric times, these cycles have been calibrated daily by a predictable event.
“Every day the sun will rise and at night it will be dark,” Panda said.
Panda explained that the end of the day can be the best time to exercise because the daylight is ending and thanks to our circadian clocks, our muscles, joints and metabolism have reached their maximum capacity. He explains that maximum capacity is when we can exercise more with less effort.
Schauwen told KPIX 5 that an afternoon workout can help us metabolize the last meal of the day faster, put us into deep sleep and a fasting state.
“Fasting gives you all kinds of biological responses that basically try to improve your health,” the researcher noted.
As for Frassetto? She thinks it’s time to replicate this study in a larger group of people and include women.
“There is clearly something about the circadian rhythms that affect the way our bodies work,” the Bay Area expert noted.
All of our experts have agreed that any exercise is good exercise. If you can’t exercise in the afternoon, exercise when it’s the right time for you.
To better understand your circadian clock, the Salk Institute has released an app. It’s called “myCircadianClock”, which is part of an ongoing research project.
You can better track your daily behaviors which are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and see how much you sleep, move, and eat among other activities. After at least 10 days of data collection, myCircadianClock will begin providing feedback on your eating, sleeping and activity patterns.
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In return, you are helping the scientists at the Salk Institute by providing them with data and helping them to better advance research into our biological reasons.