Is it more healthful to exercise before you eat or after?
Many studies show that exercising after you eat lowers high blood sugar levels far more effectively than exercising before you eat.
A high rise in blood sugar after meals damages cells to increase risk for heart attacks, strokes and nerve damage such as dementia, blindness and deafness, even in people who are not diagnosed as being diabetic.
In one study, 20 minutes of self-paced walking lowered blood sugar levels in diabetics more when done two hours after eating dinner than before eating. Exercising after fasting barely lowered their high blood sugar levels at all (Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, July 2009).
Muscle contractions drive sugar into cells without needing much insulin. These people were out-of-shape diabetics who walked slowly and for only 20 minutes, two hours after meals. Longer and more intense exercise lowers insulin and sugar levels even more and would be even more beneficial in preventing disease and prolonging life.
I recommend exercising both before AND after eating.
A practicing physician for more than 40 years and a radio talk show host for 25, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is one of a very few doctors board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology.
Dr. Mirkin's latest book is The Healthy Heart Miracle, published by HarperCollins. His daily short features on fitness have been heard on CBS Radio News stations since the 1970's.
He has written 16 books including The Sportsmedicine Book, the best-selling book on the subject that has been translated into many languages. Dr. Mirkin did his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and over the years he has served as a Teaching Fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, and Associate Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Read more at www.drmirkin.com.
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