Exercise is at least part of the answer to many of our health problems. But not all exercise is alike in its effectiveness. What’s more, even the time of day you exercise can make a difference. It's hard to know what's best. Should you exercise first thing in the morning or at the end of the day? Is walking sufficient, or do you need to include cardio exercises for your heart? It all depends on your goal.
Fortunately, if your goal is managing type-2 diabetes and reducing heart disease risk at the same time, a new study conducted at the University of Missouri has some answers for you. It found that the best time for this population to exercise is after a meal instead of before.
Of course, all exercise typically has benefits, but this study shows that there are ways to maximize the benefits. Jill Kanaley, professor in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, explains, "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."
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For this study, Kanaley and fellow researchers asked obese participants with type-2 diabetes to perform resistance exercises, such as leg curls, seated calf raises, and abdominal crunches, either before or 45 minutes after a moderate-carbohydrate dinner. Compared to days on which they didn't exercise at all, the participants saw decreases in their blood sugar levels no matter when they exercised. But when they exercised after dinner, the fat levels in their blood dropped as well.
Kanaley did point out that the improvements for the participants lasted only for the day. So it's important to make exercise part of your daily routine, particularly resistance exercise, even though it's not as fun as going for a walk in the park.
You can also use specific nutrients to help lower your sugar and fat levels through diet and supplements. Metabolic Defense is a great supplement to try. This formula contains both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese herbs that help balance blood sugar. It also contains key nutrients, such as chromium and alpha lipoic acid, that help repair the body's blood sugar mechanisms. Give it a try — but remember that you can get even more benefits if you exercise too. Don't let this become an excuse to skip your workout!
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
T. D. Heden, N. C. Winn, A. Mari, F. W. Booth, R. S. Rector, J. P. Thyfault, J. A. Kanaley. Post-dinner resistance exercise improves postprandial risk factors more effectively than pre-dinner resistance exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 2014; DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00917.2014.