Resistance training after dinner reduces risk of heart disease

Overweight and obese individuals living with type 2 diabetes can decrease their risk of cardiovascular diseases more effectively by exercising after dinner, a study published by the Journal of Applied Physiology has found.

According to facts released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have high blood pressure and also are more likely to have elevated blood fats e.g. cholesterol, triglycerides. These heightened levels in the blood increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack.

These statistics highlight the significance of the study as researchers from the University of Missouri Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology have found resistance exercises are effective for decreasing fat and glucose levels in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Professor Jill Kanaley led the study and says it shows that it’s not just the intensity and duration of exercising that is important but also when it occurs.

“Knowing the best time to exercise is after a meal could provide health care professionals with a better understanding of how to personalise exercise prescriptions to optimise health benefits,” Professor Kanaley said.

Diabetes NSW & ACT Exercise Physiologist, Ashley Baveas, says resistance training is a recommended form of exercise for anyone living with diabetes.

“Resistance training uses the muscles in the body in a unique way and by doing this type of exercise, the muscles become more efficient and require more glucose from the blood. This is why we see such great improvements in blood glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure. It is recommended to perform resistance training 2-3 times a week, on top of your aerobic exercise.”

The study participants exercised for 45 minutes before dinner and decreased their glucose levels but it was only when the group exercised for 45 minutes after dinner that they reduced fat as well.

Researchers also found the blood glucose and fat improvements did not extend into the next day.

“I encourage people interested in any new exercise regime to consult with their doctor regarding how it could interact with medications,” Ashley said.

The 8-week Beat It program run by Diabetes NSW & ACT Exercise Physiologists is designed to help people manage their diabetes with exercise, and reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke and other lifestyle related diseases. To find out more, contact our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

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