Middle-aged adults who exercise in the morning are likely to lose more weight than those who work out later in the day, latest research indicates.

A new study has found that people who work out between 7am and 9am are more likely to have a lower BMI and smaller waist circumference compared to those who exercise at a different time.

Morning workouts have better weight loss results because people will not face as many distractions, according to the researchers.

Clinical psychologist Dr Rebecca Krukowski said: “This is exciting new research that is consistent with a common tip for meeting exercise goals.

“That is, schedule exercise in the morning before emails, phone calls or meetings might distract you.”

She continued: “Predictable schedules could have other advantageous effects on weight that were not measured in this study, such as sleep length and quality or stress levels.

“In addition, the morning larks who consistently rise early enough for morning exercise may be biologically different from their night owl counterparts.”

Prior research shows the early birds have better quality sleep and more likely to follow a schedule, two factors that are associated with weight loss.

According to experts, people who get up early are more likely to be older than those who wake up later.

During the study, the team of researchers examined the health data and sleeping patterns of 5,285 middle-aged adults.

Each participant wore an activity tracker for a week to outline what times of the day they usually exercise.

The scientists divided the participants into three groups dependent on what time of the day they work out – morning, from 7am to 9am, midday, between 11am and 1pm, or evening, from 5pm to 8pm.

The average BMI of those in the morning group was 25.9 kg/m2, while the participants in the other two groups had a mean BMI of 27.6 and 27.2 kg/m2 respectively, the study has reported.

Additionally, the findings show that the participants in the morning group had an average waist circumference of 36 inches, whereas the mean waist sizes of those in the other two groups were more than 37 inches.

Exercise physiologist Dr Tongyu Ma said: “Our findings propose that the diurnal pattern of moderate to vigorous physical activity could be another important dimension to describe the complexity of human movement.”

Read the study in the journal Obesity.

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