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Weight Loss: What Time of Day is Exercise Best?

Best time of day to exercise
has been a hot topic for a very long time.
In fact, it’s quite possible that cavemen and cavewomen were debating
this while sitting around the campfire chomping on Mastodon burgers. The
question is:

What’s The Best Time Of Day
To Work Out?

            Okay.  Fine.
Cave people had a few more important things to worry about like food,
shelter, and getting eaten by Saber-Toothed Tigers.

            But, if you are trying to lose
weight and get in shape TODAY, then the answer to this question may be VERY
important to you.

            If you are like most people, you
have very limited time.  So, you want to
get the maximum results from exercise that you can in as little time and with least
effort possible.

            The good news is that a few recently
published research papers may have some answers…

            The first is a study published in
the October issue of Medicine &
Science in Sports & Exercise

            This research out of Brigham Young
University (BYU)
shows that 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the
morning actually reduces a person’s motivation for food.  This is contrary to the common belief that
exercise STIMULATES appetite.

            According to BYU: Professors, James LeCheminant and Michael
Larson, measured the neural activity of 35 women while they viewed food images,
both following a morning of exercise and a morning without exercise. They found
their attentional response to the food pictures decreased after the brisk

            “This study provides evidence that exercise not only
affects energy output, but it also may affect how people respond to food cues,”
LeCheminant said.  The report went on to
say, “The 45-minute exercise bout not only produced lower brain responses to
the food images, but also resulted in an increase in total physical activity
that day, regardless of body mass index.”

            One thing of interest was that the
women did not eat more food on exercise days than non-exercise days.  In other words, they did not eat more to make
up for the calories burned from working out.

subject of food motivation and weight loss is so complex,” Larson said. “There
are many things that influence eating, and exercise is just one element.”

What About Peak Performance?

            There are studies that show the
AFTERNOON is the best time for peak performance.  One study published in Sports Medicine in 1995 revealed that, “Performance of physical activity is generally improved in the
afternoon or evening, compared with morning.”

            Even more important are the results
from a study published in Medical Science
Sports Exercise
in 1998 that found: “These
results demonstrate that there is temporal specificity in training to increase
work capacity in high-intensity exercise. Greater improvements can be expected
to occur at the time of day at which high-intensity training is regularly

            In other words, training at the same
time every day yields the best results in regards to performance.

            Here’s something to keep in
mind…  The last two studies mentioned
concern performance (strength, speed, etc.)
The first study done at BYU is about appetite and potential weight loss.
Once again, science does not give us the clear-cut answer we are looking for.

So, What’s The Bottom Line?

            Make an exercise plan and exercise
regularly.  That is the number one
priority.  Clearly, any workout is better
than none.  But, TRY to workout at the
same time every day.

            These studies used small sample
sizes and it is very possible that not everyone fits into these results.  For example, some people are morning
people.  They jump out of bed at 5:30
every day cheering.  For others, that is

            So, is it possible that these two
types of people have different peak performance times?  One early and the other later?  Yes, it is. Once again, try it out for
yourself.  Just be consistent and give it
a valid shot.  Don’t try something for a
week or two and think it did not work. Exercise, weight loss, and athletic
performance simply do not work like that.
Neither does health.

            All of these things take
consistency.  You must do the right
things… long enough…  and “long enough”
is for the rest of your life.

            Sometimes reality can be a little
harsh, but the alternative is much worse.

Courtesy of: Altadonna Communications 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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