20 May 2024

Evening workouts have proven to be more beneficial than morning workouts

Patients with hypertension are recommended aerobic exercise, including, for example, walking, running, dancing, cycling. But such physical activity has a positive effect on blood pressure only in the evening, physiologists from Brazil and the USA have found out.

Aerobic is a load of low intensity, which involves various muscle groups and uses oxygen as the main source of energy. This type of physical activity includes walking, stair climbing, running, dancing, cycling, rollerblading, skating, skiing, swimming, Zumba, Tabata, aerobics and aqua aerobics. Previous studies have shown that aerobic exercise has positive effects on the human body, such as improving cognitive function, regardless of age. This type of exercise is also recommended for people with hypertension - high blood pressure.

Researchers from the University of São Paulo in Brazil and the University of Oregon in the United States studied the effectiveness of aerobic exercise in hypertension depending on the time of training. It turned out that only in the evening such physical activity has a positive effect on the baroreflex - one of the main mechanisms of short-term regulation of blood pressure, which maintains the cardiovascular system in balance. The corresponding scientific paper was published by The Journal of Physiology.

In a ten-week experiment conducted by scientists, 23 patients over 60 years old with hypertension, treated for this disease for at least four months, participated. They exercised three times a week on an exercise bike for 45 minutes with moderate intensity. All volunteers were divided into two groups: 12 people exercised in the morning (between 7:00 and 10:00) and 11 people exercised in the evening (between 17:00 and 20:00).

The researchers analysed the main parameters that indicate the state of the cardiovascular system (systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate after a ten-minute rest), and monitored the mechanisms of the autonomic nervous system (muscle sympathetic nerve tone activity, baroreflex sensitivity). Data were collected before the start of the exercise period and at least three days after the end of the exercise period.

Those who exercised on the exercise bike in the evening improved in all of the above parameters. In the group that exercised in the morning, only diastolic blood pressure improved. The most significant result was that evening exercise improved short-term blood pressure regulation by increasing baroreflex sensitivity.

"Evening exercise was more effective in improving autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system and reducing blood pressure. This may be partly explained by increased baroreflex sensitivity <...>. Baroreflex control is a crucial factor at least from a cardiovascular perspective, making evening exercise more beneficial than morning exercise because it provides other identified benefits," the study authors explained.

Equally important is the fact that there are no drugs yet that would be able to correct the sensitivity of the baroreflex. According to the authors of the work, the results of their experiment may be useful for people whose body does not respond to drug treatment of hypertension.

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version