New studies suggest that afternoon exercise may optimize the body's ability to regulate its internal clock, and therefore decrease the risk of several serious diseases, according to a story by Gretchen Reynolds in The New York Times.
Earlier research linked out-of-sync circadian rhythms to an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, certain types of cancer, memory loss and mood disorders, such as depression.
Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles’s Brain Research Institute wanted to know whether exercise could help "fix" or regulate a broken internal clock. To do so, they tested the affects of exercise on the circadium rhythms of several groups of mice.
In a group of mice bred to have a malfunctioning internal clock, the researchers were surprised to find that afternoon exercise helped the animals achieve more natural circadium rhythms. The team had expected to see larger benefits from morning exercise.