Physical exercise is an essential part of treating type 2 diabetes. People often wonder what exercise is the best for type 2 diabetes.
A study in the Journal Diabetologia reveals that it’s not about how to exercise but what time of day you exercise.
In fact, exercising at one specific time of the day has almost no effect on type 2 diabetes. Whereas exercising at another specific time can improve your insulin resistance by 25%.
The researchers from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands analyzed the data of 775 Dutch participants in The Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity study.
42% of them were male, and their average body mass index score was 26 kg-m2.
They focused on insulin resistance, which is one of the clearest measurements of improvement in type 2 diabetes.
The participants wore activity sensors to record their level of physical activity and its timing.
The researchers divided the participants into four groups:
- those most physically active in the morning between 6 AM and 12 PM
- those most active in the afternoon between 12 PM and 6 PM
- those most active in the evening between 6 PM and 12 AM
- those engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity distributed evenly throughout the day.
Let’s see what they found.
1. There was no relationship between breaks in sedentary activity and reduced insulin resistance.
2. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in the afternoon reduced the participants’ insulin resistance by 18% compared with activity throughout the day.
3. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in the evening reduced the participants’ insulin resistance by 25% compared with activity throughout the day.
4. Compared with activity throughout the day, exercise in the morning did not reduce insulin resistance.
This means that exercising in the morning is very ineffective in treating type 2 diabetes. Whereas exercising in the evening is the most (and very) effective.