A new study suggests that people with type 2 diabetes who want to control their blood sugar should exercise in afternoon rather than morning.
In a press release, Dr. Jingyi Qian from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Massachusetts, Division of Sleep and Circadian disorders, co-corresponding author, stated that the adults with type-2 diabetes who were the most active in afternoon had the best glucose control.
Qian said, 'We knew that physical activity was beneficial, but our study provides a new understanding of the timing of activity, which may also be important.
Researchers from Brigham and Joslin Diabetes Center analyzed data from over 2,400 overweight people with type 2 diabetics who wore a waist accelerometry device to measure their activity.
After reviewing data from the first year of the study, researchers found that those who did 'moderate-to-vigorous' physical activity in the afternoon had the greatest reduction in blood glucose levels.
Harvard School of Public Health says that brisk walking and lawn mowing with a power weeder are examples of moderate activity, while a 'vigorous activity' includes hiking, fast-paced jogging or a game of basketball, soccer or cycling between 14-16 miles an hour.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can tell that you are at a moderate level of aerobic exercise if you can talk but cannot sing your favorite song.
The team looked at the data collected from the fourth study year and found that people who exercised during the afternoon had the best chance of being free of diabetes medications lowering glucose.
According to the World Health Organization, type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is resistant to insulin or does not produce enough insulin.
It is most common in adults and associated with obesity, family history of the disease, inactivity, race/ethnicity, and older age.
Diabetes can lead to complications such as nerve damage, hearing and vision problems, kidney disease, and heart disease.
The authors of the study note that this observational study has limitations because it did not measure sleep or diet.
Roeland Middlebeek, Assistant Investigator at the Joslin Center for Diabetes, said that timing does matter. We may be able to provide more information and experimental evidence in the future for patients so that they can make more personalized recommendations.
Dr. Lucy Chambers of Diabetes UK's Research Communications Department said about the study that it can help people manage their blood sugar and reduce their risk for serious complications related to diabetes, such as kidney failure and heart disease, while also improving their overall well-being.
Chambers, an independent researcher who wasn't involved in the study, stressed the importance of people exercising whenever they can.
The afternoon exercise is associated with the highest benefits, but the reasons are not clear and the current evidence about the best times to exercise is mixed.
She added that the most important part of living with type-2 diabetes is finding an exercise you like and can easily incorporate into your daily routine - before work, during your lunch break or at night.
The findings of the team are published in Diabetes Care.