Morning walks better for lungs & heart than evening walks: Study

5 days ago 51
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When is the best time to clock the daily steps? Researchers at a

Mumbai hospital

have found those who walk in the morning have better lung capacity and resting

heart

rate than those who walk in the evening.
“Our

lungs

can take in up to 4.5 litre of air but most Indians’ lungs have a capacity of less than 2 litre because of multiple reasons, including lack of exercise,” said Dr Ali Irani, head of the department of physiotherapy and sports medicine at Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital in Mumbai, which conducted the recently compiled study on 203 people who went on

regular walks

. Among morning walkers, they found, the average vital capacity (the maximum volume of oxygen lungs can take in) was 2,475ml, higher than that of evening walkers by 216ml. “Walks between 5am and 6am have proven to build the highest vital capacity among individuals,” Dr

Irani

added.
The peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR, maximum speed of exhalation) also improves among morning walkers. In the study, the average PEFR for morning walkers, at 313 litre per minute was higher than that of evening walkers, 216 litre per minute. Similarly, resting heart rate (the number of times the heart beats in a minute) was lower for those who walked in the morning, at 65-70, than those who walked in the evening, at 85.
Among the reasons that morning seems like a better time for vital capacity and PEFR are the effects of temperature and ozone, the study found. The lower levels of both in the morning aid better lung functioning. Besides, walking in the morning seems to enhance the oxygen-carrying ability of blood, activating cells and kickstarting metabolism with improved blood circulation and delivering blood to peripheral nerves.
The graph turns upside down when it comes to blood pressure, though. While morning walkers had a mean systolic blood pressure of 136mmHg, evening walkers had 124mmHg. The mean diastolic BP of evening walkers 79mmHg less than that of morning walkers, 89mmHg. This, the study attributed to most respondents taking their blood pressure medication after their walks in the morning.
Among those in the study, those with hypertension preferred to walk in the evening and those with diabetes chose mornings. In the morning, scientists had earlier found, the levels of

cortisol

, a hormone which lowers insulin action, is high and keeps glucose levels from dropping. Besides, it avoids the peak insulin part of the day for diabetics.

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