It has been found that physical exercise at the proper time of day appears to be able to enhance your metabolism – at least in lab mice!
According to a recent study published in PNAS, mice that exercised during an early active period, which is similar to a morning workout for humans, had higher metabolisms than those that exercised during a time during which they would normally rest.
Sure enough, since biological processes rely on the circadian rhythms of cells, physical exercise at various times of the day can have varied effects on the body.
As part of this research, the team examined the mice’s adipose tissue following a session of high intensity exercising done at two times of the day: an early active phase and an early rest phase.
Their goal was to determine how the time of day people exercise influences fat burning.
The researchers examined numerous indicators for fat metabolism and determined which genes were turned on in post-exercise adipose tissue.
Additionally, they discovered that physical activity during the early stages of the active phase can increase the expression of genes related to adipose tissue breakdown, thermogenesis and mitochondria in adipose tissue, suggesting that there is a higher metabolic rate.
Only mice that exercised during the early active phase showed these effects and this was also the case regardless of their food intake!
Professor Juleen R. Zierath says that “Our results suggest that late morning exercise may be more effective than evening exercise in terms of boosting one’s metabolism and burning fat, and if this is truly the case, they could prove valuable to people who are overweight.”
Mice are a well-recognized model for the physiology and metabolism of humans because they share many fundamental physiological processes with us.
However, it’s worth mentioning that there are also significant distinctions, such as the nocturnal nature of mice.
Professor Zierath goes on to add that “The right timing appears to be important to the body’s energy balance and also to improving the health benefits of exercise, but more studies are still needed to draw any reliable conclusions on the relevance of our findings to humans.”