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Health and Medicine for Seniors

Type 2 Diabetes patients should exercise after dinner

Study is particularly helpful for health care providers who have patients who exercise every day but are not seeing benefits

Older people on treadmillsFeb. 18, 2015 – Individuals with Type 2 diabetes have heightened amounts of sugars and fats in their blood, which increases their risks for cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. Exercise is a popular prescription for those suffering from the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, but most research has focused the benefits of different exercise methods. A news study, however, decided to look at the difference in benefits based on the time of the exercise. Doing it after dinner is best, they say.

“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,” said Jill Kanaley, professor in the University of Missouri Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.

“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.”

More than 23 percent of senior citizens suffer with type 2 diabetes. (See more information below news story.)

 

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Kanaley and her colleagues studied a group of obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes. On one occasion, participants performed resistance exercises before eating dinner. During another visit, participants exercised 45 minutes after eating dinner. All participants consumed a moderate carbohydrate dinner on the evenings of the study.

Participants performed resistance exercises such as leg curls, seated calf raises and abdominal crunches.

Compared to levels on a non-exercise day, Kanaley found that the participants who exercised before dinner were able to only reduce the sugar levels in their blood. Participants who exercised after dinner, however, were able to reduce both sugar and fat levels.

Kanaley said her research is particularly helpful for health care providers who have patients who exercise every day but are not seeing benefits.

“Knowing that the best time to exercise is after a meal could provide health care professionals with a better understanding of how to personalize exercise prescriptions to optimize health benefits,” Kanaley said.

Kanaley also found that improvements in participants’ blood sugar and fat levels were short-lived and did not extend to the next day.

She also suggests individuals practice daily resistance exercise after dinner to maintain improvements.

“Individuals who exercise in the morning have usually fasted for 10 hours beforehand,” Kanaley said. “Also, it is natural for individuals’ hormone levels to be different at different times of day, which is another factor to consider when determining the best time to exercise.”

In the future, Kanaley said she plans to research how exercising in the morning differs from exercising after dinner and how individuals’ hormone levels also affect exercise results.

Notes:

The study, “Post-dinner resistance exercise improves postprandial risk factors more effectively than pre-dinner resistance exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes,” was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Faculty members in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology have appointments in MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, College of Human Environmental Sciences and School of Medicine.

About Diabetes (MedlinePlus)

Diabetes expected to increase in U.S. due to booming population of senior citizens

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy.

With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well.

Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems. It can damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb. Pregnant women can also get diabetes, called gestational diabetes.

A blood test can show if you have diabetes. Exercise, weight control and sticking to your meal plan can help control your diabetes. You should also monitor your glucose level and take medicine if prescribed.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in older people, especially in people who are overweight, and occurs more often in African Americans, American Indians, some Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander Americans, and Hispanics/Latinos. National survey data in 2007 indicate a range in the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in various populations ages 20 years or older:

>> Age 60 years or older: 12.2 million, or 23.1 percent, of all people in this age group have diabetes.

>> Age 20 years or older: 23.5 million, or 10.7 percent, of all people in this age group have diabetes.

>> Men: 12.0 million, or 11.2 percent, of all men ages 20 years or older have diabetes.

>> Women: 11.5 million, or 10.2 percent, of all women ages 20 years or older have diabetes.

>> Non-Hispanic whites: 14.9 million, or 9.8 percent, of all non-Hispanic whites ages 20 years or older have diabetes.

>> Non-Hispanic blacks: 3.7 million, or 14.7 percent, of all non-Hispanic blacks ages 20 years or older have diabetes.

Diabetes to Increase with Aging Population

Diabetes prevalence in the United States is likely to increase for several reasons. First, a large segment of the population is aging.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

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