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Type 2 diabetes: how exercising in the afternoon can be beneficial

  • Researchers report that people with type 2 diabetes may derive more benefit from exercising in the afternoon.
  • In a new study, researchers reported that participants who exercised later in the day had better blood sugar results.
  • They said they don’t yet know why exercising in the afternoon might be more beneficial, but it may be due to better sleep patterns and healthier eating habits.

Doctors have long touted the benefits of exercise to help people with Type 2 diabetes manage chronic disease and reduce their risk of health complications

Now a new study published in the journal Diabetic treatments suggests that the time people with type 2 diabetes exercise helps determine how much it benefits them.

In the study, researchers reported that exercising in the afternoon provided the most dramatic results in blood sugar control.

“These are very exciting results because we know that physical activity is beneficial, but what our study adds is new understanding that the timing of activity may also matter,” said Jingyi QianPhD, study co-author and professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School of Massachusetts in Boston.

A team of researchers, including some from Brigham and Harvard Joslin Diabetes Center analyzed physical activity data at one and four years in 2,400 people classified as overweight and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Each of the participants wore a device that measured physical activity.

The participants had been part of the Look AHEAD (Health Action in Diabetes) study, a multi-site randomized clinical survey that began in 2001 and monitored the health of more than 5,000 people with type 2 diabetes and were classified as overweight or obese.

The researchers determined that those who engaged in “moderate to vigorous” physical activity in the afternoon had the greatest reduction in blood sugar levels after one year. Afternoon exercisers also had the highest odds of stopping diabetes medication.

Three years later, according to the researchers, those who maintained a regular afternoon training regimen maintained a reduction in blood sugar.

The precise reason why afternoon exercise caused the largest reductions in blood sugar was unclear.

However, the research team suggested that sleep patterns, diet and metabolism could provide clues.

Qian said Medical News Today she hopes further research will measure these factors to determine a more direct link.

This, she said, could provide people with type 2 diabetes and doctors with more evidence to prescribe exercise at specific times of the day to lower blood sugar.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant or does not produce enough insulin.

Dr Mitchell Lazara doctor from the University of Penn Health System in Pennsylvania, warned that the new study failed to show a concrete cause and effect relationship between the time of day that a person with type 2 diabetes exercise and lowering glucose or blood sugar levels.

“It is premature for doctors to take this to the bank and prescribe afternoon exercises, because although the study shows some correlation, it does not demonstrate cause and effect or take into account any differences. ‘other confounding factors,’ he said. Medical News Today.

Other studies have linked when people with type 2 diabetes exercise to health risks.

A study 2021, for example, concluded that morning workouts may increase heart attack risk in men with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when blood sugar rises due to problems with how the body uses or produces insulin. Symptoms can include frequent urination, increased thirst, and blurred vision.

It can appear at any age, but it is more likely to occur after the age of 45. It is estimated that more than 37 million people in the United States have diabetes, mostly type 2.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates the movement of blood glucoseor sugar, in the cells, which use it as energy.

When sugar can’t get into cells, too much glucose builds up in the blood and the body can’t use it for energy. This can lead to flu-like fatigue, urinary tract infections, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, legs and feet due to circulation and nerve damage.

If blood sugar rises or falls too much, it can quickly lead to medical emergencies, including seizures and loss of consciousness.

Keeping blood sugar levels within target levels can prevent serious long-term complications, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, nerve damage, eye damage, and vision loss, as well as kidney disease.


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