Other Funding | Nutrition & Health
Missouri | University of Missouri Agriculture Experiment Station | North Central Region
Individuals with Type 2 diabetes can lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by exercising after a meal.
Individuals with Type 2 diabetes have heightened amounts of sugars and fats in their blood, which increases their risks for cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. Exercise is a popular prescription for individuals suffering from the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, but little research has explored whether these individuals receive more benefits from working out before or after dinner.
Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that individuals with Type 2 diabetes can lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by exercising after a meal. The study shows that it is not just the intensity or duration of exercising that is important but also the timing of when it occurs. Results from this study show that resistance exercise has its most powerful effect on reducing glucose and fat levels in one's blood when performed after dinner. Researchers also found that improvements in participants' blood sugar and fat levels were short-lived and did not extend to the next day. This suggests that individuals practice daily resistance exercise after dinner to maintain improvements. In the study a group of obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes performed resistance exercises before eating dinner. During another visit, participants exercised 45 minutes after eating dinner. Participants performed resistance exercises such as leg curls, seated calf raises and abdominal crunches. Compared to levels on a non-exercise day, researchers found that the participants who exercised before dinner were able to only reduce the sugar levels in their blood; however, participants who exercised after dinner were able to reduce both sugar and fat levels. Participants consumed a moderate carbohydrate dinner on the evenings of the study.
Knowing that the best time to exercise is after a meal could provide health care professionals with a better understanding of how to personalize exercise prescriptions to optimize health benefits.