Post-Meal Exercise may Attenuate the Glycemic Response to a Carbohydrate Load: Important Implications for Adults who are Obese, with Pre-Diabetes or Diabetes, and/or At-Risk for Dementia.
Obese individuals are at risk for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. This paper reviews research on the link between obesity and insulin resistance related to the conditions of pre-diabetes and diabetes, the consequences of elevated blood glucose (hyperglycemia) that result from a carbohydrate-rich diet and insulin resistance, the potential short and long term health consequences of elevated blood glucose, and the promising effects of post-meal exercise to stabilize blood glucose levels after consuming a carbohydrate load.
Mitigating elevated blood glucose after consumption of snacks and meals in obese adults who are at-risk for, or who have diabetes, could improve glycemic control, decrease the need for medication, delay the onset of long term complications of the diabetes, and decrease dementia risk. Further, facilitating stable levels of blood glucose in adults diagnosed with dementia through regular post-meal light exercise may positively affect mood and behavior, important aspects of dementia management, as well as physical health.
Colberg and colleagues examined the effect of 20 min of moderate walking before or after
meal consumption in individuals with T2DM. They found that post-meal exercise resulted in lower plasma glucose levels at the end of exercise compared to values at the same time point when subjects had walked pre-meal. Additional studies found post-meal exercise resulted in reduced hyperglycemia in those with T2DM; however, the exercise did not commence immediately after meal consumption. Additionally, subjects with higher pre-exercise BG levels in both studies benefited the most from post-meal exercise.
Obes Res Open J. 2015; 2(2): 81-88. doi: 10.17140/OROJ-2-113