Study: Exercise After Meals Beneficial For Type 2 Diabetics

shutterstock_25042198Exercise has been a common prescription for managing diabetes. But few studies have been conducted to explore whether exercising before or after a meal may be more effective for diabetics. Researchers have looked into this recently and found out that type 2 diabetics who exercise after meals can lower their risk for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers from the University of Missouri conducted a study of obese individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. The participants were made to perform resistance exercises such as leg curls, seated calf raises and abdominal crunches. During one visit, the participants were made to perform the exercises 45 minutes before eating dinner. On another visit, the participants performed the same exercises 45 minutes after dinner. The researchers then took measurement so their blood sugar and body fat levels.

Upon comparing the data, the researchers found certain differences depending on when the participants performed the exercises. Those who exercised before meals were able to reduce the sugar levels on their blood. But the participants who exercised after meals showed a reduction not only on their blood sugar levels but also on their fat levels as well.

According to Jill Kanaley, professor in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, “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.”

Kenaley and her team also noted that the observed improvements on blood sugar and fat levels brought by exercising after a meal are short-lived and did not extend on the next day. The researchers suggest that daily resistance exercise after meals may be needed in order to maintain the improvements. Results of the study are published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Source: University of Missouri-Columbia. (2015, February 18). Individuals with type 2 diabetes should exercise after dinner. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 19, 2015 from


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