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Is morning exercise better for us?

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Is morning exercise better for us?

Old 01-10-23, 12:52 PM
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My own anecdotal "evidence" ...

Always have been a "morning" person, in that I've functioned better in the first third to half of the day. Even more so, when exercising early in the morning. If for no other reason than it gets the blood pumping, gets more oxygen and nutrients to the cells, ejects more waste products from those cells, loosens me up, and requires the brain and body to pay attention to the workout's challenges ... all rather than trying to face the day's first challenges without that boost.

Can't say what the impacts have been on fat consumption, stress-related reductions and all the rest, as compared to exercising later in the day. (For many years, I often did two-a-day workouts, one early and one later.) But it has worked well for me.
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Old 01-10-23, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
For many years on this forum there's been a relatively constant message that burning a higher proportion of fat during moderate effort cycling will make you a faster cyclist over a long course. Chapple wrote a whole book about it. While many riders suggest that your percentage of fat burned will increase no matter what if you ride enough. there's always been a suggestion that going out fasted for a couple hours will get you the most progress in the least time. I think both those things are true. The study in the OP confirms that latter to my satisfaction, though I think the bump would have been even larger had the ride been for 2 hours. I've found that 2 hours on the rollers just below VT1 really does the job for me. I can't do that outdoors - it's too hilly here.
I've done a lot of cycling while fasted. I've spent whole days cycling National Forest gravel roads on a Surly LHT while only consuming any calories 2 out of every 24 hours. I did it to lose weight. I lost 180 lbs in about 16 months. For the first 2 years I was zero sugar except maybe 2 servings of fruit every week, very low carb, and 100% whole food. I didn't and still don't know jack about intensity levels. I went as hard as I could while trying not to kill my old fat self and I got better as time passed. I think it's a good strategy to lose weight. It might not be the best strategy to maximize fitness over the long term. Then again it could be considering all the benefits of fasting in general when combined with good nutrition and good rest, etc.
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Old 01-10-23, 05:15 PM
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Regardless of whether there is data to support it or not, exercising first thing in the day does wonderful things for my mood the rest of the day. I also find it easier to do it straight off rather than wait for other things to get in the way.
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...

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Old 01-11-23, 04:20 PM
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I understand what you are saying. However, what I see is that the far right, 6:00 is 24 hours after the morning exercise group. But only 8 hours after the later group. I would have liked to see the horizontal axis be time elapsed after excercise, not clock time.

And admitedly, I did not read the Materials and Methods section of the study, but it appears that the morning group had much more intense exercise. Why is this? Where the groups not matched? Was this double blinded?

I am not saying you are wrong, but there are so many variables here that IMO any meaningful conclusions are difficult.
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Old 01-11-23, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bblair View Post
And admitedly, I did not read the Materials and Methods section of the study, but it appears that the morning group had much more intense exercise.
All groups exercised at the same intensity (50% of VO2max), for the same amount of time (1 hour).

The spike you see for the early morning exercisers is fat oxidation, not exercise intensity. Measured energy expenditure was virtually identical for all 3 exercise times, as seen below:

Energy expenditure for no exercise (white), morning exercise (blue), afternoon exercise (green), and evening exercise (red).
Ride, Rest, Repeat

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Old 01-11-23, 06:43 PM
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I used to exercise in the evening.
Then we had a kid and I got a new job, by the time I got home it was supper time (or later) and wife had enough of child care.
I told myself I would start again when things settled down.
Finally realized they never would, so started getting up at 4 so I could exercise regularly, and have been doing so for almost 30 years.

Several years ago there was a study that looked at people who exercised in the morning versus after work (late afternoon/early evening). The upshot was that the PM exercised to somewhat higher intensity, but the AM were much more consistent.

I like exercising early in the morning, it is quiet, and I get my thoughts together for the rest of the day.
Now that I am retired, I can even have a leisurely breakfast and read the paper.
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Old 01-12-23, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for the clarification. I did not see that in the original post.
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Old 01-16-23, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I like to bike for exercise in the mornings to avoid peak traffic and peak sunlight intensity. I have so far avoided skin cancer, despite my Celtic complexion, my freckled "redhead skin," as my father called it.
I had a half-Welsh grandma, and 2/3 of my sisters got that red hair & pale freckly skin. I've always been fairly tan for a white guy, and rarely burn even a little, even in bad situations. 😋😉

When you're touring, you're usually up & moving pretty early, and getting excercise even if you're just walking your bike. I think it gets you in the right mindset, for whatever happens that day. Like an early bird gets the worm kind of thing. 😎
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Old 01-17-23, 05:26 PM
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That's all well and good except for people that have work normal job hours. I don't happen to like getting up at 3am, ride my bike, get home, shower then go to work, yuk! so until I retire in about 8 months I ride when I can, after work, on weekends I'll ride in the morning though.
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Old 01-18-23, 05:37 PM
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On the roads around where I live it is far safer in the mid to late morning when there are fewer motorists around who are likely to be paying more attention to their smartphone than to the road. In cities I prefer to ride after 7 PM to have minimal traffic and it is much easier to see when a car is approaching from the rear or the sides.
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