What Is The Best Time To Exercise?

Should you workout in the morning, afternoon, or night? A new review of 26 studies has the verdict on the ideal way...

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • In case you missed it

  • This is your body on aging

  • The original Ozempic?

  • The best time to train is…

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In Case You Missed It…

Two new podcasts came out that I think you will all enjoy. I truly enjoyed my time with Ryan Holiday on the Daily Stoic. And please check out part two of my interview on Literally! with Rob Lowe.

This Is Your Body On Aging

What happens to your muscles as you age? If you train them the right way, Father Time has less of an impact than you might think.

A recent research review suggests that resistance training can help prevent — or even reverse — the effects of aging. But not taking action can have serious consequences.

The review found that our muscles decline significantly each year, with the science suggesting a yearly decrease of 1 percent in muscle size, up to 3 percent in strength, and up to 4 percent in power. The numbers might not seem overwhelming, but it compounds like high interest on a credit card.

The researchers found the average diameter of the muscle fibers decreased by about 40 percent between the ages of 20 and 80. Additionally, the study found that the muscle force decreased by approximately 30 percent per decade after age 50.

Low-intensity aerobic exercise — while great for many cardiovascular health benefits — didn’t seem to preserve muscle quality. But, even as we get older, our muscles still can adapt and grow stronger. Resistance training — as little as two to three times per week — can help maintain muscle and build strength and power into your nineties!

Given how many diseases and health problems are associated with physical decline, a little bit of strength training can be a life-changing decision. It’s never too late to start or find your way back to the gym.

The Original Ozempic?

Is it better to eat protein or vegetables before your carbs? What you eat — and how much — is far more important than the order in which you eat it. But, how you structure your meal could have a surprising benefit.

The idea of “sequencing” your foods comes from research on blood sugar management. Specifically, there is some evidence that suggests eating vegetables or protein before you eat your carbs could help reduce a blood sugar response. And that people with obesity or diabetes can see benefits from having vegetables first in a meal.

The reason is that vegetables (because of fiber) and protein tend to slow down your digestive process. This helps increase feelings of fullness. But that’s not all.

You could consider vegetables the “original Ozempic” because they help increase the level of GLP-1, the hormone in your body targeted by today’s popular weight loss drugs. To be clear, taking Ozempic or Wegovy has a dramatically different impact on your hunger than eating vegetables and leads to significantly more weight loss than sequencing your foods. But, the mechanism is similar because it triggers a fullness hormone that helps control your hunger and eat fewer calories.

So, should you eat your vegetables first? The amount of research that shows this helps weight loss — not just reducing blood sugar levels — is very limited. So, it’s hard to say if it will work for most people. However, it could be worth experimenting to see if it helps you eat less.

As we’ve previously shared, eating fewer non-processed foods helps control hunger. And solid foods take longer to chew and process, reducing appetite. This could be why sequencing your vegetables might help you eat less, especially if your appetite feels like it’s impossible to satisfy.

The Best Time To Train Is…

Are you trying to figure out the best time to schedule your workouts? We have good news and bad news.

The bad news: There’s no best time.

The good news: There’s no worst time, either.

Our friends at REPS — one of the best resources for understanding confusing fitness and nutrition research — shared research that suggests there’s no need to stress about the time of day you choose to exercise.

Scientists reviewed 26 studies that focused on exercise timing. They found little difference in health or performance-related goals whether you train during the day or at night. Maybe, most importantly, the scientists suggest that it could help to find a consistent time to train. When people train at the same time, they tend to see more consistent performance.

If you’re really trying to figure out what’s “optimal,” one study suggests that gender might impact what’s “optimal” for your goals. The researchers found that women saw better fat loss when they trained in the morning, whereas men saw improvements in blood pressure when they trained in the evening.

But, for the most part, ensuring that you’re consistently training in a way that matches your goals is far more critical than when that training occurs. This means you don’t need to go out of your way to train at entirely random times or stress about missing out on progress just because your schedule or preference does not allow you to train at a specific time of the day.

If you’re going to build a routine, block off time on your calendar like it’s a work-related meeting, which can help build that consistent time where you exercise and people expect you to be unavailable. Sometimes, life will get in the way, and that’s OK. But, the more consistent you become, the more likely you are to become healthier and stronger.

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell