- A new study published in the journal Diabetes suggests that when you exercise can play an important role in blood sugar management.
- Participants who trained in the afternoon and evening had an 18 and 25 percent reduction in insulin resistance, respectively. Morning exercisers saw no reduction.
- Keep in mind that any exercise, no matter what time you do it, can help manage prediabetes and diabetes, but talk to your doctor before starting a new routine.
People with prediabetes and diabetes are often encouraged to exercise, and for good reason. Research has linked increased activity to better condition management.
But there’s a caveat: Because exercise makes the body more sensitive to insulin, it can increase the risk of blood sugar levels dropping too low. That’s why the American Diabetes Association recommends checking blood sugar more often before and after training to understand how your body is responding to exercise.
In addition to this strategy, new research published in Diabetes suggests that the time of day you exercise may be another important factor in better blood sugar control.
The researchers examined 775 men and women aged 45 to 65, who received a fitness monitor and were divided into three groups to determine when to exercise: morning, afternoon and evening.
They found no change in insulin resistance – which occurs when your body doesn’t respond as it should to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar – for morning jocks, but improvements in the other two groups. Those who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity in the afternoon had 18% lower insulin resistance, and the evening group fared even better, with a 25% reduction in insulin resistance. .
“Our results suggest that first and foremost it is important to be physically active, and additionally, the time of day may be even more important for optimal metabolic health,” said the lead author. study, Jeroen van der Velde, Ph.D., a researcher at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, said Ride a bike.
These results are consistent with previous research, he added, which showed that the most beneficial effects on blood sugar control with high-intensity exercise training were in the afternoon compared to the morning. What was surprising was the big difference between morning and evening, he said.
“We think this can be explained, at least in part, by the circadian system in our body,” van der Velde said. “Previous research suggests that the muscular system and oxidative systems in our body are affected by our circadian rhythm, and their peak activity appears to be in the late afternoon. Thus, being primarily active in the afternoon and evening may elicit greater metabolic responses than being active in the morning.
That said, he added that morning exercise is much better than no exercise, and physical activity is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to circadian rhythm management (and glycaemia) – in particular, the time of meals and sleep play a considerable role. roles too.
Another note: While these results apply most directly to people with prediabetes or diabetes, improved blood sugar management is positive for everyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, well-maintained blood sugar levels are linked to mood regulation, energy levels throughout the day, sleep efficiency, and the prevention of serious chronic diseases like heart disease and kidney disease.
Elizabeth Millard is a freelance writer specializing in health, wellness, fitness and food.
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