Exercise - Timing May Be Important

Everybody knows exercise is important, and it’s important for both blood glucose control and for independently reducing our risk for heart disease (where diabetes doubles our risk from the start). We’re learning more and more about the benefits of exercise. We now know that any exercise is better than none. We know that both aerobic and resistance exercise (like working with weights) are important. And, if you’re looking for the best time to exercise a new study from the University of Missouri may have the answer.

This small study of 13 obese adults with type 2 diabetes looked at how after-dinner blood glucose and triglyceride levels responded as participants did no resistance exercise, did resistance exercise before eating or did resistance exercise about 45 minutes after eating. The result was clear – when doing resistance exercise after dinner, blood glucose levels were 30% lower than with no exercise (and 12% lower than when exercising before the meal.) The result for after-meal triglyceride levels – heart disease risk – was even more impressive. Compared to levels with no exercise, after-meal resistance exercise reduced after-meal triglyceride levels 92% more effectively!

It’s significant that resistance exercise was the focus here. We can do resistance exercise nearly anywhere with stretch bands or small weights – a trip to the gym is not necessary. Always discuss any significant lifestyle changes with your medical team, but if you’re already approved for exercise you might want to adjust your schedule to try a little resistance exercise with your after-dinner coffee.

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