Interesting exercise studies arrive at my desk daily, I love working in the field of metabolism and health right now. And this new study is a case in point, both for it’s irony and poignancy.
Nine researchers are listed on this study and let me give away the conclusion right away—“Daily exercise is necessary for people with type 2 diabetes to effectively control their blood sugars.”[i] On the surface this is not a novel finding, but there was more.
24-hour glucose tolerance improved after a morning exercise bout, but that was because the first meal and second meal glucose tolerance was better, but by the third meal . . . the benefit of the exercise was gone.
I have two big take home messages for you.
One: This study used one hour of aerobic exercise, at 70% of the maximum heart rate before breakfast. It is probable, in my experience and research review, that a more intense workout with strenuous activity would have a longer glucose benefit effect.
Two: Since the morning workout did not help much by dinner, daily exercise may not even be enough. You need to be active multiple times per day to best manage blood sugars; calisthenics in the morning with a good walk, jog or sport at another time. Mix it up and remember, those with type 2 diabetes are advantageously wired to be physically active on an empty stomach throughout the day.
Step Five of The Blood Code offers more about the fitness principles that promote insulin sensitivity.
[i] Douglas JO, et al. One Bout of Exercise Alters Free-Living Postprandial Glycemia in Type 2 Diabetes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014;46(2):232-238.