Exercise may be better for women in the morning if they want to burn fat, while men benefit more from working out at night.
A fitness session in the morning is better for women looking to reduce fat and lose inches on their bellies, a small study suggests.
They also see a greater reduction in blood pressure from exercising early in the day.
But men’s blood pressure, levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and their ability to burn fat all seem to benefit more from evening exercise.
Men may also feel less tired exercising before dinner, rather than before breakfast.
The results come from a study of 27 women and 20 men who worked out four times a week. Around half did so between 6am and 8am, while the rest did it between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.
Dr Paul Arciero, who led the study from Skidmore College in New York, said: ‘While both morning and evening exercise provide significant health and performance benefits for women, those looking to shed belly fat and lower their blood pressure should consider the morning.’
The study, involving relatively fit people aged 25 to 55, found women who exercised in the morning lost an average of 10 per cent of the fat around their middle. That compared to only 3 per cent of abdominal fat lost in women who exercised in the evening.
While the women did not lose weight overall, they lost abdominal fat, which can wrap around the body’s internal organs and be bad for health.