Research from the University of Missouri shows that taking exercise 45 minutes after meals can help with reducing blood glucose and triglyceride levels for people with type 2 diabetes.

13 obese patients with type 2 diabetes took part in the study which involved three trials which were undertaken in a random order:

  • No exercise taken
  • Resistance exercise taken before dinner
  • Resistance exercise taken 45 minutes after dnner

The resistance exercises performed by the participants included abdominal crunches, leg curls and seated calf raises.

The researchers monitored blood glucose and triglyceride levels following meals and measured the incremental area under the curve (iAUC), a method of calculating how high blood glucose levels were over a period of time in which the sugar levels are varying.

Blood Sugar levels

The results showed that both pre-meal and post-meal resistance exercise was effective for reducing blood glucose levels following meals. Exercise before meals resulted in an 18% decrease in iAUC blood glucose levels compared with no exercise before or after meals. When resistance exercise was taken after meals, there was an even greater, 30%, decrease in iAUC blood glucose levels compared with no exercise being done.

When the researchers measured the effects on triglyceride levels, before meal exercise did not make a significant difference, however, post-meal exercise reduced triglyceride levels by 92%.

The research showed that whilst the exercises were effective in the short term, the exercises need to be done on a daily basis to maintain the effects on lowering blood sugar and triglyceride levels.

The study appears in the Journal of Applied Physiology.