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Night exercise might help you live longer: study

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Night exercise might help you live longer: study

Go ahead, sleep in and skip your morning workout.�

Getting in the majority of your exercise at night might actually be the most beneficial when it comes to living a longer life, a new study says.�

Researchers in Australia, who published their work in the journal Diabetes Care, looked at data from nearly 30,000 people over eight years and found that for those living with obesity, nighttime movement between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight tended to be the most beneficial.�

Researchers found that movement between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight could be most beneficial. Getty Images

What’s more, the researchers noted that any type of moderate to vigorous physical activity counted — it didn’t have to be a traditional sweat session. As long as you were getting your heart rate up, and getting breathless for a few minutes, it counted.

“We didn’t discriminate on the kind of activity we tracked, it could be anything from power walking to climbing the stairs, but could also include structured exercise such as running, occupational labor or even vigorously cleaning the house,” Dr. Matthew Ahmadi, National Heart Foundation postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sydney, said in a release.

And it didn’t have to last long. Just three minutes of getting out of breath was found to hold some benefit. (Previous research has shown that just three minutes of exercise can have a strong positive impact on glucose control and lowered cardiovascular disease risk.)�

In fact, the researchers revealed, the frequency with which people undertook those short bouts of exercise seemed to be more important than their total amount of physical activity daily. In other words, getting your heart rate up for several minutes throughout your day might be better than one longer exercise session, followed by sitting in an office chair for the next eight hours.�

Using wearable devices to track movement, researchers collected data from UK Biobank for 29,836 adults over the age of 40 who were living with obesity. Nearly 3,000 of the participants also had Type 2 diabetes.�

Any type of aerobic activity — like climbing the stairs or vigorously cleaning the house — also had a positive impact. Getty Images

The study participants wore their activity trackers nonstop for seven days, and researchers categorized their movement as being primarily in the morning, afternoon or evening. Then, researchers tracked what happened to those individuals over the next eight years. They monitored for deaths, major cardiac events (like a heart attack) and microvascular events (which includes things like being prescribed cholesterol or blood pressure medication), according to the American Heart Association.�

The researchers accounted for a number of lifestyle factors (including smoking, alcohol consumption, sedentary time, fruit and vegetable intake), plus other attributes like education levels, sex and age.

In the end, those evening workouts won out for those who live with obesity.

Researchers said short bouts of exercise — three minutes or more — were all you needed to see some benefit. Getty Images

This information comes in contrast to several previous studies that have found it might be best to workout in the morning — especially if you’re looking to lose weight.

“Exercise is by no means the only solution to the obesity crisis, but this research does suggest that people who can plan their activity into certain times of the day may best offset some of these health risks,” Ahmadi explained.

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