Do you have a specific time of day when you hop on a bike and go for a ride? New research suggests that if you’re trying to lose weight, it might be helpful to have regular exercise time. Let’s take a closer look.

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A study published in July 2019 in Obesity Research Journal looked at 375 people who have successfully maintained weight loss and who exercise at least two times a week to find out what their exercise habits are. The 243 women and 132 men who met study inclusion criteria reported on how long and when they exercise (at moderate-to-vigorous intensity) during a week.

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Most reported having a regular exercise time

The researchers found that 68 % of the participants reported consistency in the time of day that they exercise. This group also reported higher frequency and duration of their physical activity, and they were more likely to achieve the national guideline of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity a week than irregular exercisers. The study also found that 47,8 % of the regular exercisers did their physical activity early in the morning. There seemed to be no differences in exercise quantity among early/late morning, afternoon or evening as the time for regular exercise.

A regular time for exercise may help increase physical activity levels

The study concluded that exercising at the same time of day, regardless of whether it is during the morning, afternoon or evening, may help with achieving higher physical activity levels. Consistency in exercise timing and other cues might help explain characteristic high physical activity levels among successful weight maintainers.

“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. “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,” commented the lead author Leah Schumacher, PhD.

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