Exercise timing is key to successful weight loss, finds a new study. Consistency in the time of day that exercise is performed irrespective of intensity determines the success of weight loss programme.
In a study of 375 adults who have successfully maintained weight loss and who engage in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, most reported consistency in the time of day that they exercised, with early morning being the most common time. The study has appeared in Journal Obesity.
The role of exercise in any regimen of weight loss programme cannot be underestimated. Energy balance is a process through which the body attempts to establish homeostasis. Most individuals spend much of their lives in the same weight range without a daily focus on caloric intake and output. The two parts of the equation for weight maintenance are energy intake (eating and drinking) versus energy output (nonexercise thermogenesis + exercise). in order to achieve weight loss, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), and National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics all recommend exercise as an integral part of any weight loss program. Physical activity and exercise are often used interchangeably. However, correctly defined, physical activity is all movement that creates energy expenditure, whereas exercise is planned, structured physical activity.
The study also found that being consistent in the timing of physical activity was associated with higher physical activity levels, regardless of whether people exercised consistently during the morning, afternoon, or evening.
“Our findings warrant future experimental research to determine whether promoting consistency in the time of day that planned and structured physical activity is performed can help individuals achieve and sustain higher levels of physical activity,” said senior author Dale Bond, PhD of the Brown Alpert Medical School. “It will also be important to determine whether there is a specific time of day that is more advantageous for individuals who have initial low physical activity levels to develop a physical activity habit,” added first author Leah Schumacher, PhD.