Nanavati Hospital reveals novel insights on effects of morning walks over evening walks on cardiovascular fitness in healthy individuals
Mumbai, April 07, 2021: Morning walkers have better cardiovascular fitness than evening walkers, revealed a recent study performed by experts of Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai.
The study, ‘Effects of Morning Walking v/s Evening Walking on Cardiovascular Fitness in Adults,’ was performed by the department of Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital. Total 203 healthy adults walking 30 minutes for at least thrice a week, over a period of three months or more. The average age of the participants was 45-years.
The subjects were tested for their vital capacity (the maximum amount of air that can be inhaled after maximum expiration), peak expiratory flow (maximum speed of expiration), YMCA 3 min test (3-minute step-up and step down test), resting heart rate and blood pressure. Those with musculoskeletal or joint pain and those performing indoor exercise were excluded from the study.
The results demonstrated that subjects walking in the morning have superiority over subjects walking in the evening in terms of their vital capacity and peak expiratory flow. Experts noted that morning walks enhanced the oxygen carrying ability of the blood, increased blood circulation and delivered blood to peripheral nerves. Another reason for high VC and PEFR in morning walkers was probable effect of temperature and ozone which is less concentrated in the evening.
The Resting Heart Rate between evening and morning walkers showed no statistical difference. However, more hypertensive individuals were found among evening walkers than in the morning. Morning walkers had higher systolic and diastolic BP since they walk before taking their medicines, researchers said.
The study also used YMCA categorization to assess the fitness level of individuals, based on how quickly the heart rate recovers after exercise. Overall physical fitness consists of five different elements: Aerobic or cardiovascular endurance, Muscular strength, Muscular endurance, Flexibility and Body composition. The YMCA test measures the duration of heart rate stabilization post-exercise. Fitter the individual, quicker the heart rate returns to normal.
More number of morning walkers (71) belonged to Excellent, Good and Above Average YMCA categories as compared to their evening (55) counterpart. Similarly, 46 evening walkers fell in Average, Below Average and Poor categories as compared to 28 morning walkers.
Talking about the study, Prof. (Dr.) Ali Irani, Head of Department, Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital said, “With this study, we have statistically concluded that there are greater health benefits of morning walks as opposed to evening walks; benefits that extend beyond inhaling fresh air. While walking in itself improves heart health, regulates BP, improves circulation, improves lung capacity and builds muscle strength and endurance, morning walks, especially those taken between 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., have proven to build the highest vital capacity and peak expiratory flow rate among individuals.”