The health benefits of exercise are obvious, but when it is most beneficial has been widely debated. A new study shows that people who exercise in the middle of the day are more likely to reduce the risk of premature death.
Midday exercise linked to lower risk of premature death
The researchers analyzed activity and death data of more than 90,000 people in the UK Biobank and found that moderate to vigorous physical activity at any time of the day provided benefits, with 150 minutes per week being most beneficial . However, people who were more active between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm had a lower risk of death than those who exercised in the morning or evening, including the risk of all-cause death and cardiovascular death, but the risk of cancer mortality was lower. No effect, the findings were published in Nature Communications .
The researchers speculate that one of the additional reasons for the beneficial effects of exercise at different time points may be related to the circadian regulation of cardiometabolic responses to physical exercise. In addition, the study observed that the benefits of midday activity, which is particularly associated with protection against premature death from heart disease, were more pronounced among older adults, men, those who were less active and those diagnosed with heart disease. The researchers believe this may be due to lower rates of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks during the midday hours of the day.
The protective benefits of midday exercise persisted despite differences in people’s socioeconomic status, lifestyle, pre-existing conditions, sleep habits, or the amount of moderate-to-vigorous activity they engaged in in the UK Biobank database. The findings suggest that identifying the best time to exercise can help maximize the health benefits of daily exercise, the researchers said.
What is moderate-to-vigorous physical activity?
According to the National Health Service of the Ministry of Health and Welfare , the intensity of physical activity is generally evaluated by the internationally accepted Metabolic Equivalent (MET). 1MET (1 Metabolic Equivalent) is defined as the consumption of one calorie per kilogram of body weight per hour. From the perspective of life, it is roughly equal to the energy consumed by the same person in a state of sitting and resting, such as watching TV. This value is also equal to the oxygen consumption of 3.5 ml per minute per kilogram of body weight, which is the oxygen consumption of an ordinary adult in a quiet state. situation.
If the physical activity intensity is expressed in multiples of 1 MET unit, 2 MET means that the energy consumed is twice that of 1 MET, such as in a slow walking state. According to the metabolic equivalent consumed, the activity intensity can be roughly divided into four levels: static (Sedentary), mild (low-intensity), medium (moderate-intensity) and high-intensity (high-intensity). Physical inactivity is called.
Moderate-intensity activities are those that get you moving fast enough or vigorous enough to expend three to six times the energy per minute that you would expend sitting quietly, or exercising at a pace of 3 to 6 METs. High-intensity activities burn more than 6 METs.
Which exercises are considered moderate to vigorous intensity?
．Inactivity: Sitting at work, watching TV, chatting, or driving.
．Light exercise: Take a walk or walk with light objects.
．Moderate-intensity exercise: walking, downhill, general speed swimming, tennis doubles, badminton, billiards, volleyball, Tai Chi, dancing, general speed cycling, etc.
．High-intensity exercise: running, climbing hills, continuous and rapid swimming, rapid stair climbing, aerobic dance, rapid cycling, taekwondo, rock climbing, rope skipping, vigorous sports (such as basketball, football, tennis singles), etc.