Exercise after meals reduces cardiovascular risk for type 2 diabetics

Thu, 19 Feb 2015
People with type 2 diabetes can reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by exercising after a meal, reducing the levels of sugar and fats in the blood.

This research was conducted by the University of Missouri, United States who examined a group of obese individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Participants were monitored exercising before dinner, and on a different occasion, 45 minutes after dinner. These resistance exercises included leg curls, abdominal crunches and seat calf raises.

Those who worked out before dinner reduced sugar levels in their blood, but those who exercised after the meal reduced sugar and fat levels. A moderate carbohydrate dinner was consumed by the participants in the study.

Jill Kanaley, professor in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, observed that these results did not extend to the next day, and that daily resistance exercise after meals will continue improvements.

Reducing levels of sugars and fats in the blood is important for people with type 2 diabetes, as heightened amounts can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke.

"Knowing that the best time to exercise is after a meal could provide healthcare professionals with a better understanding of how to personalize exercise prescriptions to optimize health benefits," said Kanaley.

"This 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," Kanaley added.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
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