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Morning Exercise May Help Reduce Fat Stores, New Studies Suggest

New research suggests that exercising in the morning may burn more fat than at other times of the day. Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark conducted a study in mice to investigate the effects of exercising in the mornings compared to the evenings.[0] The results showed that exercise during the early active phase – corresponding to late morning for humans – increased the expression of genes involved in the breakdown of fat tissue, heat production, and cells in the fat tissue that indicate a higher metabolic rate.[1]

Professor Juleen Zierath of the Karolinska Institutet, who co-led the study, said: “The right timing seems to be important to the body’s energy balance and to improving the health benefits of exercise.”[2] The study suggests that exercising early in the day may help to reduce body fat stores.

Data from a recent study also suggests that combining aerobic exercise, or cardio, with intermittent fasting may improve nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.[3] The investigators found that, independent of weight loss, exercise was 3.5 times more likely to achieve a 30% or greater relative reduction in liver fat compared to standard care.[4]

The US Department of Health and Human Services advises that adults perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening activity a week.[5] But it does not give recommendations for what time of day to exercise.

However, a large study recently found that afternoon exercise may be best for longevity, while morning exertions are better to narrow our waistline. The study also found that physical activity at any time of day is better for longevity than not exercising.

For those looking to reduce fat stores, morning exercise may be beneficial. According to a study, exercising in the morning is beneficial for women who are looking to reduce fat in their belly and hips. Try out the following exercises every morning to lose fat and increase your overall fitness: jogging, cycling, swimming, or brisk walking.

A separate study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in November 2022 found that exercising between 8am and 11am yielded the lowest risk of heart disease and stroke.[6]

In general, more research is needed to draw any reliable conclusions about the relevance of these findings to humans.[7]

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

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

2. “Late morning exercise may burn more fat”, 15 Feb. 2023,

3. “Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Combining fasting, cardio may help” Medical News Today, 21 Feb. 2023,

4. “Reduce Liver Fat With 150 Minutes of Aerobic Exercise Per Week” Hep Treatment News, 13 Feb. 2023,

5. “The exercise that could help reduce liver fat, according to scientists” AOL, 8 Feb. 2023,

6. “The best time of day to exercise to burn calories and body fat – ‘more effective'” Express, 14 Feb. 2023,

7. “Scientists think they might have discovered the perfect time of day to exercise” Daily Mail, 13 Feb. 2023,

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