Have Type 2 Diabetes? Exercise After Dinner

For people with diabetes, the timing of exercise may be just as important as the duration or intensity.

A new study from the University of Missouri found that people with type 2 diabetes can reduce their risks of cardiovascular disease and lower their blood sugar levels if they exercise after dinner, instead of before.

"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," said study author Jill Kanaley, professor in the Nutrition and Exercise Physiology Department at MU.

A daily routine is best

Resistance training – which includes exercises like leg curls, abdominal crunches or push-ups - uses the body's own weight to help build muscle and burn fat. A wide body of growing research suggests that it can also improve hormonal health and increase insulin sensitivity.

Yet in order to reap the most benefits, people with type 2 diabetes should adopt a daily practice of resistance training exercises after dinner, Kanaley said, as the lowered blood sugar and fat levels seen in the study participants didn't appear to carry over into the next day.

The findings might help physicians recommend more targeted exercise plans for diabetic patients, Kanaley concluded.

Further research on the differences between morning and evening exercise - and how it impacts hormones - is next for Kanaley.

The study is published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Source: University of Missouri

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