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The Benefits of Exercising in the Afternoon: New Study Suggests It May Lead to Longer Life

Exercise is an important part of healthy living and has a range of benefits from weight management to increased strength and endurance to improved heart health. In addition, regular physical activity can reduce the risk of early death and protect against conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity. Now, a new study suggests that exercising in the afternoon may lead to a longer life.[0]

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, used data from 81,717 UK Biobank participants between the ages of 42 and 78.[1] For a period of seven years (between June 1, 2013, and December 23, 2015) researchers followed up with participants who wore an accelerometer (a type of fitness tracker) for one week.[1]

The results showed that those who got more physical activity overall had a lower risk for hospitalization for nine conditions, including diabetes, gallbladder disease, blood clots, urinary tract infections and more.[2]

The researchers found that people who were physically active between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. were less likely to die early from heart disease and other causes (excluding cancer) than people who exercised earlier or later in the day.[3]

The latest research also indicates that there can be unique benefits to slotting exercise into the morning hours.[4] A 2020 study conducted on 32 men at risk of developing type 2 diabetes revealed that afternoon workouts enabled their bodies to better regulate their blood sugar levels. A study from 2021 indicated that exercising in the evening may be more beneficial for blood sugar levels and lowering levels of “bad” cholesterol compared to morning workouts.

Exercising mice in the late morning had higher amounts of fatty acids in their blood directly post-exercise, as well as 12 hours later. No changes were observed for those who exercised in the evening.[5] It was indicated that those who exercised in the late morning had twice as much fat breakdown.[5] The researchers pointed out that this afternoon time frame neatly coincides with the time of day when, statistically, people are least likely to experience a heart attack.[6]

If you have a hectic agenda, you may attempt to fit in physical activity whenever possible.[5] There is increasing evidence suggesting that when you exercise can play a role in its outcomes. The findings of our recent study indicate that the response of body fat to exercise varies depending on the hour of the day – this has been observed in mice. The biological circadian clock may account for the variation in the body’s response to exercise depending on the time of day.[7]

0. “New Study Claims Exercising In The Afternoon Is Better, Leads To Longer Life” Medical Daily, 24 Feb. 2023,

1. “Moderate to vigorous physical activity reduces hospital admissions for many common health conditions:…” Medical Dialogues, 20 Feb. 2023,

2. “An extra 20 minutes of exercise a day can reduce your risk of hospitalization, study finds” AOL, 16 Feb. 2023,

3. “Any exercise is beneficial, but afternoon workouts may be best, study finds”, 24 Feb. 2023,

4. “For a longer life, afternoon exercise may be best, a large study shows”, 22 Feb. 2023,

5. “Morning exercise burns more body fat, mouse study shows” Rappler, 22 Feb. 2023,

6. “Study reveals the optimal time to work out to live longer” New York Post , 23 Feb. 2023,

7. “Your Internal Clock Might Help You Optimize Your Workouts” Inverse, 21 Feb. 2023,

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