The Week (US)

Evening exercise is better


Working out in the evening may be better for the body than exercising in the morning. Researcher­s in Australia recruited 24 sedentary, overweight men and put them on a high-fat diet for five days. After that, participan­ts were divided into three exercise groups: one started exercising at 6:30 a.m., the second at 6:30 p.m., the third not at all. The participan­ts stuck with the exercise regimes for five consecutiv­e days while continuing the high-fat diet. As expected, the men’s health suffered during the first five days of fatty eating: Their “bad” cholestero­l levels rose, and their blood showed signs of increased risk for heart problems. The results from the second five days were more surprising. In the evening exercisers, some changes were mitigated or reversed, while the morning exercisers showed the same heightened cholestero­l and troubling indicators in their blood as the non-exercising control group. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can disrupt metabolism, reports, so it’s possible that the men who woke early to exercise may have missed out on some valuable shut-eye. Still, the researcher­s emphasize, any exercise, at any time of day, is better than no exercise.

years after the Big Bang. The discovery was made using high-resolution spectrosco­py, which determines the chemical makeup of distant stars by measuring their brightness. SPLUS J2104−0049 appears to be one of a very few “ultra–metal-poor” stars. “They are very rare,” lead researcher Vinicius Placco, from the NOIRLab in Tucson, tells “We only know of about 35 of them after looking for decades.” A giant red star with a mass about 80 percent that of our sun, SPLUS J2104−0049 is at least 10 billion years old. It appears to have one of the lowest levels of carbon recorded, suggesting it is an early “Population II” star, formed from the remnants of exploded “Population III” stars—the very first stars, containing only hydrogen and helium, to emerge following the Big Bang. Most stars, including the sun, are “Population I” and contain relatively heavy elements such as iron, nickel, and oxygen that were created by fusion within Population II stars.

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