Exercising later in the day can reduce insulin resistance

Exercising later in the day can reduce insulin resistance

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Exercising in the afternoon or evening is associated with reduced insulin resistance, compared to physical activity spread throughout the day, research shows. Henrik Sorensen/Getty Images
  • Researchers in Europe analyzed the data to see if breaks in sedentary activity could affect insulin resistance.
  • Researchers enrolled middle-aged participants from the Dutch Obesity Epidemiology Study and examined their liver fat content and insulin resistance in relation to the timing of physical activity.
  • The researchers did not find a link between a break in sedentary activities and reduced insulin resistance, but they did find a possible link between exercise time and insulin resistance.
  • Although exercising in the morning did not reduce insulin resistance, researchers found that exercising in the afternoon or evening may be beneficial.

According to World Health Organization, obesity rates have tripled worldwide since 1975. The link between obesity and insulin resistance is bidirectional. Insulin resistance often develops due to being overweight or obese, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Because type 2 diabetes can be an expensive disease to treat, contribute to many health problems, and even be fatal, researchers are interested in learning about different ways to improve it. insulin resistance.

Exercise is an important aspect of health. Previous studies have shown that it can improve insulin resistance. In a new study published in Diabetology (magazine European Association for the Study of Diabetes), researchers found a link between exercise time and insulin resistance.

Beta cells in the pancreas produce insulin, a hormone that the body makes and is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels.

Some medical conditions can affect the body’s ability to make or respond well to insulin, including type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when a person’s body produces little or no insulin. Doctors usually diagnose this form of diabetes earlier in life and there is no cure.

Someone who develops insulin resistance may be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

This form of diabetes is more common in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 diabetes is too more widespread in people who are overweight or obese and can control it with medication, diet and exercise.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes may go into remission with lifestyle changes in some cases, including significant weight loss.

The researchers examined data from the Dutch Obesity Epidemiology Cohort Study, which collected data from 6,671 people aged 45 to 65 between 2008 and 2012.

Some of the data collected included BMI, fasting and postprandial blood glucose and insulin samples, and MRI scans of people who might undergo imaging. Additionally, 955 participants wore activity monitors for 4 days.

From the group that wore activity monitors, the researchers reduced the number of participants to 775 participants with an average age of 56. The group was 42% male and 58% female, with an average BMI of 26.2.

By examining data from activity monitors, the researchers divided daily periods into three segments: from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (morning), 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (afternoon); and from 18:00 to 12:00 (in the evening). They excluded the hours from 12 to 6 in the morning

For each of the 6-hour periods, the researchers looked at the different activity levels recorded by the heart rate monitors.

After analyzing the collected data, the researchers did not find a link between interruptions in sedentary activities and reduced insulin resistance. However, they found an association between insulin resistance and the time of day the participants worked moderate to vigorous physical activityas recorded by the activity monitor.

They found no difference in MVPA and reduced insulin resistance in the morning segment of the data.

The researchers also examined liver fat taken from MRI scans and noted that the number of breaks in sedentary time did not affect liver fat content.

“Further research should assess whether the timing of physical activity really matters for the onset of type 2 diabetes,” the authors wrote.

Dr. Michael Sagnerthe president European Society for Preventive Medicinetalked to Medical news today about the findings of the study.

“It is certainly timely to investigate the chronobiological effects of exercise,” said dr. Sagner. “Exercise timing is a relatively unexplored field in human studies and needs more study.”

dr. Sagner noted that the study’s weakness was the limited 4-day period in which participants were followed, and said more research is needed “if certain types of activity provide more health benefits when done at certain times of the day.”

“The current study cannot lead to any changes in current recommendations. Physical activity is essential for health and disease prevention and should be incorporated into the weekly routine as well as time during the day.”

– Dr. Michael Sagner

Ph.D. Ishita Patelboard-certified endocrinologist at Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology, also spoke with MNT about the study. dr. Patel also felt that the timing of exercise in reducing insulin resistance requires more research.

“The analyzed data of the study was for a short period of time – four days,” pointed out dr. Patel. “It would be interesting to assess liver fat and insulin resistance over a longer period of time, and also [its] relevance to populations of concern – such as pre-diabetics and diabetes.”

As dr. Sagner also mentioned, dr. Patel felt the important thing about exercise was to make it part of a routine rather than focusing on time.

“The vast majority of people are so busy that it’s hard to find any time for regular exercise. Similar to the way we advise on nutrition, I believe consistency of exercise should be encouraged more than adding the extra challenge of finding the ‘perfect time’ to exercise.”

– Dr. Ishita Patel

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