In a nutshell
The authors aimed to determine whether prescribed walking taken after meals was more effective in patients with type 2 diabetes compared to walking on a single occasion at any time of the day.
The authors concluded that physical activity programs should be specifically designed for post-meal activity, particularly when meals are carbohydrate-heavy.
Physical activity is one of the main guidelines used to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. Diabetes patients who gain weight may find it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Exercise regimens can be put in place to manage weight and have shown proven benefits in reducing blood sugar levels, as well as reducing the risk of heart problems. However, current guidelines do not specify when physical activity should be carried out throughout the day.
Postprandial glycemia (an increase in blood sugar levels following meals) can be a factor in hyperglycemia (overall increase in blood sugar levels) and has also been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that exercise following meals can reduce blood sugar levels and reduce episodes of hyperglycemia.
Methods & findings
The aim of this study is to determine whether prescribed walking done after meals was more effective in patients with type 2 diabetes compared to walking on a single occasion at any time of the day.
41 patients were included in this study. Patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Patients in group 1 walked for 30 minutes each day, at any time of the day. Patients in group 2 walked for 10 minutes after each of the three main meals, starting within 5 minutes of completing the meal.
Patients in group 2 had a 12% lower postprandial glycemia compared to group 1. This was highest following the evening meal (22%) which contained the highest level of carbohydrates. The average blood glucose levels during the 3 hours following the evening meal were significantly lower in group 2 than in group 1. Overall, physical activity was greater in group 2 than in group 1.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that physical activity should follow meals, particularly when meals are carbohydrate-heavy.
Discuss your exercise options with your doctor.
Published By :
Oct 17, 2016
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