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Boost Fat Metabolism & Heart Health: Exercise at the Right Time of Day

Exercising at the right time of day may be key to burning more body fat, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.[0] The analysis revealed that physical activity during the appropriate time of day can boost fat metabolism, 3.5 times more likely to achieve a 30% reduction in MRI-measured liver fat independent of weight loss compared to standard care.

The investigators found that physical activity at an early active phase increased the expression of genes responsible for the breakdown of adipose (fat) tissue, thermogenesis, and metabolic rate-enhancing cells within the adipose tissue. Professor Zierath said: “The right timing seems to be important to the body’s energy balance and to improving the health benefits of exercise. But more studies are needed to draw any reliable conclusions about the relevance of our findings to humans.”[1]

Stine, a Penn State Cancer Institute researcher, also noted that exercise can match the ability of in-development therapeutics to achieve the same outcome, and suggests that clinicians counseling patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease should recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week – for example, 2 x 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity.[2]

Research findings have been released following a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in November 2022, which concluded that exercising between 8am and 11am was associated with the lowest risk of heart disease and stroke. According to a study done by the European Society of Cardiology, those who engage in physical activity in the morning tend to experience the greatest benefits for their heart health, with the lowest risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

Overall, the new research and earlier studies provide a more comprehensive insight into how exercise timing affects metabolism at a particular tissue level. Sato has stated that further research is necessary in order to comprehend the cellular processes that are affected by the timing of physical activity and its results on metabolism, before physicians can suggest particular times of day for their patients to exercise.

0. “A morning workout could hack your circadian rhythm and boost metabolism, science says” BBC Science Focus Magazine, 13 Feb. 2023,

1. “New study finds the best time of day for men and women to work out” New Zealand Herald, 14 Feb. 2023,

2. “Move It! Two-and-Half Hours of Aerobic Exercise per Week Decreases Liver fat: Study” Zee News, 11 Feb. 2023,

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