Study Suggests Afternoon Exercise Benefits Those With Type 2 Diabetes
BOSTON — People who have type 2 diabetes should set aside time to exercise in the afternoon rather than the morning to better manage their blood sugar, according to a study published in Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.
Doctors have long known that physical activity is a key element to glucose control for adults with type 2 diabetes.
But the new study adds another level of understanding, namely that the timing of the activity may also be important.
Before coming to this conclusion, researchers from Massachusetts’ Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston studied data from more than 2,400 people who were overweight and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Roughly 57% of study participants were women, and the mean age of the group was 59 years.
Throughout the study, participants wore a waist accelerometry recording device — a tool that measures vibration or acceleration of motion — to measure their physical activity.
Based on the first year of collected data, the researchers saw that those who engaged in moderate to vigorous activity in the afternoon had the greatest reduction in blood glucose levels.
Three years later, the team of researchers found that those who exercised in the afternoon maintained a reduction in blood glucose levels, and had the highest chance of being able to stop taking glucose-lowering diabetes medication.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, and occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, or doesn’t make enough insulin.
People with diabetes are at risk of a wide range of complications including nerve damage, vision and hearing problems, kidney disease, heart disease and premature death.
The researchers said more experimental studies are needed to examine causality.