Morning exercise does not provide any benefit in reducing insulin resistance, while afternoon or evening physical activity protects people at risk of diabetes by controlling blood sugar. This thing has come to know in important research. It has long been argued that scheduling physical activity throughout the day improves metabolic health. However, the timing of physical activity is a relatively unexplored area in human biology and the mechanisms underlying the potential benefits of the timing of physical activity remain unclear.
A new study published in Diabetologia now shows that afternoon or evening physical activity is associated with better blood sugar control. The research was led by Dr Jeroen van der Velde and colleagues from the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
They noted in the paper, 'The results suggest that the timing of physical activity throughout the day is relevant to the beneficial effects of physical activity on insulin sensitivity. Further studies should assess whether the timing of physical activity is really important for the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.
For the research, the researchers used data from the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study. Participants underwent a physical test, during which blood samples were taken to measure fasting and postprandial blood glucose and insulin levels, while demographic, lifestyle, and clinical information were obtained through questionnaires.
They were also screened for suitability for an MRI scan and around 35 per cent of those able to undergo the procedure were selected to have their liver's fat content measured using this technique.
The results showed that there was no significant difference in insulin resistance between morning activity and similar activity during the day. Neither the amount of sedentary time nor the number of breaks in sedentary behaviour was found to have a favourable association with liver fat content or insulin resistance.
It may be that the intensity of activity during the break in our study was too mild to cause metabolic responses, the researchers said. Most daily activities are of moderate intensity and since we did not see an association between LPA and insulin resistance, it is understandable that there is no association between brakes and insulin resistance.
'Further studies should assess whether the timing of physical activity is really important for the occurrence of type 2 diabetes,' he added.