Type 2 diabetes: Best time of day to exercise to lower blood sugar levels

Type 2 diabetes can often be caused by poor lifestyle choices, such as a diet high in sugar and fat, smoking and lack of exercise. Left untreated, eye problems, heart attack and stroke, and kidney problems can occur. One of the best ways to lower blood sugar is to be active. Experts recommend you aim to do 2.5 hours of activity a week. But when is the best time to exercise?

The best time to do structured exercise is when you’re most likely to do it, advises Diabetes UK.

It explains: “Some find it useful to exercise first thing in the morning, while others prefer to exercise at the end of the day.

“Be mindful that exercising too close to bed may affect sleep quality.”

If you struggle to include exercise in your day, you may find it helpful to schedule exercise into a diary, sign up for a weekly class or find an exercise partner.

The diabetes charity adds: “Being intentional with the timing of non-exercise physical activity throughout the day can go a long way to lowering blood glucose.

“Aim to walk for 10 minutes or longer soon after finishing a meal and interrupt prolonged periods of sitting with bouts of very light activity every 30 minutes.

Resistance exercise consists of lifting free weights, using weight machines, performing exercises using resistance bands and the body’s own weight.

The diabetes research charity explains: “Daily exercise, or ensuring that two days do not elapse between exercise sessions, ensures that you remain insulin sensitive.

“The insulin sensitivity benefits of exercise wear off after about 24 hours (this is based on a person with type 2 diabetes engaging in low-intensity exercise for approximately an hour per day).

“Exercise which improves muscle mass – such as resistance exercise – is important for maintaining or building muscle as it helps the body to be more insulin sensitive.

“And, as we lose muscle mass as we age, incorporating some form of resistance exercise at least twice per week on non-consecutive days becomes extremely important.”