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New Research Suggests Exercising At Night May Be Best For Improving Blood Sugar Levels In Adults, Especially Among Those At Risk Of Diabetes

Halfpoint - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Most people believe that the time of day at which they exercise doesn’t really make a difference. As long as you’re moving your body, whether that means working out in the morning or evening, that’s all that matters, right?

Well, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Granada suggests otherwise  – especially if you’re at risk for diabetes.

The results indicate that exercising in the evening may be an effective way to improve blood sugar levels in adults, particularly those who are overweight or obese. More specifically, the study suggests that doing moderate-to-vigorous workouts at night can significantly enhance the human body’s ability to regulate glucose.

The researchers recruited 186 overweight or obese sedentary adults with at least one metabolic impairment – like elevated cholesterol or high blood pressure – to explore the connection between workout timing and blood sugar regulation.

For 13 days in a row, each participant wore an accelerometer and a continuous glucose monitoring device. The accelerometer monitored physical activity; meanwhile, the continuous glucose monitoring device measured blood sugar levels around the clock.

Afterward, the researchers categorized each participant’s day according to when the majority of their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) took place.

Days were labeled as “morning” if over 50% of MVPA minutes were recorded between 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., “afternoon” if most activity occurred from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and “evening” if the bulk of movement happened between 6:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.

Additionally, days with a more balanced distribution of activity were termed “mixed,” while days with no physical activity were labeled as “inactive.”

The team was then able to paint an informative picture of how the timing of exercise influenced blood sugar control on an hourly and daily basis by comparing glucose levels across these various day types.

Halfpoint – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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