January 22, 2019
Exercising Before Meals and Blood Sugar
Wellness Tip

Exercising Before Meals and Blood Sugar

by Berkeley Wellness  

Brief bursts of intense exercise before meals—dubbed “exercise snacks”—may control blood sugar better than a single longer session of moderate exercise, according to a small new study from New Zealand in Diabetologia.

People with insulin resistance did three different treadmill walking workouts. One day they did a 30-minute moderate workout (at 60 percent maximum heart rate) before dinner. Another day they did six one-minute, high-intensity bouts (at 90 percent maximum heart rate) interspersed with one-minute recovery periods before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On a third day they did six one-minute workouts that alternated high-intensity walking with resistance exercise, also interspersed with recovery periods.

Compared to continuous exercise, the workouts involving brief bursts led to lower post-meal spikes in blood sugar, with the effects persisting over the next day.