A new study found that a three minutes exercise post meals can reduce blood glucose levels and insulin response regardless of BMI. It’s a well proven fact that physical activity holds a very good tendency to improve blood sugar levels. When you’re active, the glucose in your blood gets used up by your active muscles for energy and this helps to lower the level of glucose in your blood.
As per research, whether you have diabetes or not, if you tend to have a lot of sedentary time during the day, it can put you at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. People who regularly spend more of their days in a sedentary manner, also tend to have a high risk of metabolic diseases, as well as higher fasting blood glucose and triglyceride levels.
Previous studies have proven how breaking up sitting time with physical activity can help decrease blood glucose levels during the day. A further step is taken by a new study in the August 2023 volume of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. It is one of the first to look at evening activity and blood glucose levels.
Research on Three Minutes Exercise Post Meals
The spike in blood sugar following meals typically triggers the release of a hormone called insulin. Insulin makes the glucose leave your bloodstream and enter your cells, where it’s used for energy.
This good balance between increased blood sugar levels and insulin release is a delicate one. It can go out of control quickly in certain lifestyles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if your body consistently has very sharp spikes in blood sugar and is therefore, routinely pumping out more insulin, cells can eventually stop responding to insulin release and become insulin resistant. This break in the neat yet delicate balance can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
This is the metabolic point where this new research comes into play.
This research involved total 30 participants, who were 18 to 40 years old. All these participants were not on medication to control blood sugar or triglyceride levels. They were fit with accelerometers, which are the devices that track activity. They wore these devices for seven days straight. All the participants ate the same pre-made meals for the seven days. They were given strict guidelines on meal timing so that the conditions were as uniform as possible.
Each participant was assigned days where they sat for four hours following their evening meal. Out of these four hours, they only got up to use the bathroom. They watched TV, read or were on a device like phone.
They also had assigned days where they performed the activity intervention in the evening after their meals. This intervention also lasted for four hours. However, instead of sitting for all the four hours time, they broke it up with 3 minutes of basic resistance exercises every 30 minutes. The basic exercises were chair squats, calf raises and standing leg raises, all simple exercises that require no equipment.
Three minutes exercise gave amazing results
The activity intervention reduced postprandial (after meals) blood glucose levels and insulin response by 32% and 26% respectively across the group, regardless of the individual’s BMI. According to the study authors, this response is similar to the response that walking has on blood sugar after eating. Instead of only using people at the higher end of the BMI chart, this study included people of all different BMI categories.
This sets this study apart from previous research.
The results of this study can motivate individuals to practice this short and easy to follow three minute exercise pattern and maintain this routine to ensure healthy post meal blood sugar levels.
Breaking up long periods of sitting throughout the day, eating a healthy balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight are all ways to help keep blood sugar stable.
This study gives an easy solution with short, simple post meal three minute exercise to improve sharp spikes in post prandial(after meals) blood sugar levels.
Frequent sharp spikes in blood sugar after your meals can cause the body to produce more insulin, which over time may increase the risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.