Is morning exercise the best way to protect yourself from cancer? – Portal of naturopathic and naturopathic specialists

Morning exercise, in particular, appears to help reduce cancer risk. (Image: Prostock-studio /

Physical activity lowers the risk of cancer

Regular exercise has many positive health effects, although depending on the time of day the effects may differ. A recent study showed that morning exercise may have the most benefit in reducing cancer risk.

Researchers from the University of Medicine of Vienna (MedUni Vienna) and Spanish colleagues from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) tried to find out the effect of physical activities at different times of the day on risk cancer. Depending on their results, there may be significant differences here. The results of the study were published in the “International Journal of Cancer”.

Melatonin and cancer risk

“The hormone melatonin is mainly produced by the human body at night and has been associated in some studies with a lower risk of cancer,” the researchers explain. It is also known that physical activity in the afternoon or evening can lower the rate of melatonin.

In 2795 participants in the population-based multi-case-control study (MCC-Spain), the research team therefore examined “whether sports activities in the morning could further reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer. than sports activities that take place at other times of the day, “according to the Communication from MedUni Vienna.

Women especially benefit from morning exercise

It has become clear that “the protective effect of exercise on the risk of prostate and breast cancer is probably strongest when physical activity takes place in the morning from 8 to 10 am.” This was especially true for the risk of breast cancer in women. in men, the risk of prostate cancer was reduced to a similar extent even with regular evening exercise (7 pm-11pm).

In addition, the chronotype of participants, i.e. preferences for sleep and activity at a certain time, is also relevant for the effect of physical activity. Morning exercise (8-10 hours) seemed especially good for participants who normally prefer to be active in the evening – the so-called owls, the scientists report.

150 minutes of exercise per week

“The timing of physical activity can obviously affect the rate of sex hormones and melatonin, as well as nutrient metabolism,” says the research team. Even with the new findings, it is not yet possible to say exactly what time of day it is best to be physically active in order to optimally reduce the risk of cancer. However, the general rule of thumb is that you can significantly reduce your risk of cancer by simply incorporating at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week into your daily life. (fp)

Author and source information

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This text complies with the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and ongoing studies and has been verified by healthcare professionals.


Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters


Jakob Weitzer, Gemma Castaño – Vinyals, Nuria Aragonés, Inés Gómez – Acebo, Marcela Guevara, Pilar Amiano, Vicente Martín, Ana Molina – Barceló, Juan Alguacil, Victor Moreno, Claudia Suarez – Calleja, José Juan Jiménez – Moleón, Rafael Marcos‐ Gragera, Kyriaki Papantoniou, Beatriz Pérez – Gómez, Javier Llorca, Nieves Ascunce, Leire Gil, Esther Gracia – Lavedan, Delphine Casabonne, Virginia Lope, Marina Pollán, Manolis Kogevinas: Effect of the time of day of recreational physical activity and domestic on the prostate and risk of breast cancer (MCC-Spain study); in: International Journal of Cancer (25.09.2020), Medical University of Vienna: Physical activity reduces the risk of cancer (published on 13.10.2020),

Important note:
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.