The results of a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care might help diabetics who exercise control their blood sugar levels better.
The study followed 12 people who averaged age 32, ten men and 2 women, and already exercised regularly and were identified as having Type-1 diabetes. The participants met the researchers at a laboratory for 2 exercise sessions which were held 5 days apart.
The participants started one session at 5pm with 45 minutes of treadmill running accompanied by 45 minutes of weight training. An order of the training was switched in the second session.
The time was chosen to be able to simulate the approximate time they participants would normally exercise, typically after-work hours.
The researchers were very careful to monitor the participants blood sugar throughout the exercise sessions. Examples of blood were taken before, during, and after the sessions. The exercise sessions were stopped and the participants received a snack when the the participants blood sugar dropped below 4.5 mmol/L (millimoles per liter) of blood.
The study found when participants followed the aerobic fitness exercise first plan then their blood sugar was more likely to fall below the 4.5 mmol/L threshold. However when they did weight training first the suffered more gentle drops in blood sugar even hours after exercise and post-exercise drops were more gentle than ever before.
Since the research was so small, they were unsure if other mitigating factors, that were not monitored, could have skewed the results.
According to Reuters, for example, they didn’t monitor the amount of a number of hormones that may lead to changes in blood glucose during exercise. Nor was the patients diet monitored and controlled, but the researchers desired to simulate real-life conditions faced by people with Type-1 diabetes.
Also the research followed diabetics who were in good physical fitness, would the same results occur with somebody who had under optimum health?
Dr. Vivian Fonseca, chief of endocrinology at Tulane University Medical School, and wasn’t involved in the study, told Reuters, “While the study findings are extremely intriguing, they may have limited practical value until more studies are done.”
The authors from the study still suggest that Type-1 diabetics train with weights before their cardiovascular workout to be able to better control their blood sugar levels.