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Exercise in the Morning May Increase Fat Burn and Reduce Liver Fat in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Regular exercise has been long established as an essential and powerful anti-aging intervention.[0] According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, exercising regularly can help preserve physical fitness during aging.[1] Now, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have found that exercising in the morning helps increase fat burn compared to working out in the evening in models of mice.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, compared the effects of morning and evening exercise on fat burning. Research revealed that exercising during the initial active period amplified the expression of genes connected to the degradation of fat cells, heat generation, and the fat cells that imply a higher metabolic rate.[2]

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects close to 30% of the global population and can lead to cirrhosis, liver scarring, and cancer.[3] While there are no approved drug treatments or an effective cure for this common condition, research has shown that exercise can improve liver fat, physical fitness, body composition and quality of life for patients.

Researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine have established that regular exercise can have a significant effect on reducing the amount of fat stored in the liver for those suffering from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Before the College of Medicine conducted their study, there was no definitive answer as to how much exercise would produce meaningful benefits. Their research concluded that 150 minutes of brisk walking per week was enough to significantly reduce liver fat.[4]

The team investigated what the best amount of exercise would be to produce tangible improvements in liver fat in their further analysis.[5] Results showed that those prescribed more than 750 metabolic equivalents of task (e.g. 150 minutes of brisk walking weekly) had a significantly higher rate of treatment response (39%) compared to those with lower doses of exercise (26%).[5] The American Gastroenterological Association and the European Association for the Study of the Liver both recommend the same amount of physical activity.[5]

Stine, a researcher at the Penn State Cancer Institute, pointed out that exercise can be a lifestyle change, making it equally as effective as certain drugs currently in the developmental stage.[6] Clinicians should advise patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease to engage in this amount of physical activity.[7] An example of a program that meets the criteria would be brisk walking or light cycling for thirty minutes five days a week.

0. “Burning fat: Exercising in the morning may give better results” Medical News Today, 16 Feb. 2023,

1. “Morning gym-goers may ‘burn more calories’ during workouts, study shows” NationalWorld, 15 Feb. 2023,

2. “When You Exercise Might Determine the Amount of Fat You Burn” Technology Networks, 15 Feb. 2023,

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

4. “Exercise can lead to meaningful reductions in liver fat for patients with NAFLD, research confirms” News-Medical.Net, 8 Feb. 2023,

5. “150 min/wk Aerobic Exercise Reduces Liver Fat: Study” Mirage News, 8 Feb. 2023,

6. “Brisk walking for 22 minutes a day can ward off fatty liver disease: Study” Al Arabiya English, 12 Feb. 2023,

7. “Penn State College of Medicine research confirms exercise as treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease” Newswise, 8 Feb. 2023,

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