Exercise timing is important!

Recent research by Professor Jim Mann and others at the University of Otago confirms
that walking for ten minutes after each meal, particularly the main meal of the day, has
a greater effect on lowering blood glucose levels than walking for thirty minutes a day
at some time other than after a meal. The study was small, with forty-one participants, average age 60, with an average of ten years since the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. The study did not continue for long enough to measure reductions in A1c levels.
The finding that timing is important runs counter to conventional medical thinking about diabetes prevention and management. However, it is a foundation of diabetes reversal.
There are obvious theoretical reasons why exercise after meals is more effective than exercise before meals in lowering average blood glucose levels. The logic goes like this – Muscles are the major location of glucose storage in the body (as glycogen). During exercise glucose transport from the blood into muscles is facilitated by mechanisms that do not depend on insulin. This effect decays once exercise ends. So, one expects that activation of these non-insulin dependent mechanisms of removing glucose from the blood will remove the most glucose when blood glucose levels are highest (that
is, after a meal). This study confirms that chain of thinking.
Professor Mann’s group tested the idea in folk with long standing type 2 diabetes, and their study suggests that walking after meals may improve blood glucose control and may even lead to reductions in the medication doses required.
In diabetes reversal we are concerned with reducing the workload of Beta cells, those cells
which produce insulin. This study supports the idea that exercising after meals is an effective way to reduce the amount of insulin that needs to be produced in order to clear dietary glucose (consumed as sugar or carbohydrate) from the bloodstream. What is not clear is the effect of exercise after meals on reducing insulin resistance, which is the major factor tipping people into both pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.


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