Early-morning exercisers have an 11 percent lower risk of heart disease while late-morning exercisers have a 16 percent lower risk, according to an observational study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Late-morning exercisers also were 17 percent less likely to have a stroke.
The 86,657 study participants, 58 percent of whom were women, were followed for six to eight years to track coronary artery disease and stroke.
Participants who exercised between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. had the lowest incidents of heart disease and stroke. The results were regardless of the time spent exercising.
Women especially benefited from exercising in the morning. Those who exercised in early morning had a 22 percent lower risk of heart disease while those who exercised late morning lowered their risk 24 percent. Late morning exercisers who were women also lowered their stroke risk 35 percent.
The authors cautioned that more research needs to be done to determine if morning exercise is actually more advantageous.