A 15-minute easy-to-moderate workout after every meal prevents risky spikes in blood sugar throughout the day, according to researchers who studied older adults with pre-diabetes.

Although a little exercise can make a big difference, seniors are more likely to develop diabetes. Three short walks per day after meals were just as effective at lowering blood sugar over the course of 24 hours as a single 45-minute walk at the same moderate pace, according to a study that was recently published in Diabetes Care.

Even better, after dinner, taking a nightcap was found to be significantly more effective at lowering blood sugar levels. Having the largest meal of the day at dinner can significantly raise glucose levels throughout the day.

Using whole-room calorimeters, the cutting-edge exercise science study was carried out in the Clinical Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS). The study was led by Loretta DiPietro, Ph.D., chair of the SPHHS Department of Exercise Science.DiPietro stated in a press release, “These findings are good news for people in their 70s and 80s who may feel more capable of engaging in intermittent physical activity on a daily basis.”

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Putting People in a Box to Measure How Much Energy They Use The whole room calorimeter (WRM), which looks like a small hotel room, is a controlled-air environment for human research that lets scientists test air samples to figure out how much energy a person uses. The person in the room’s level of activity affects the ratio of oxygen used to carbon dioxide produced. Additionally, the WRM measures the body’s utilization of various food fuels like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

The small calorimeter rooms were home to the ten participants in the study for three 48-hour periods. There was little room for movement because each room had a bed, toilet, sink, treadmill, television, and computer.Standard meals were consumed by participants, and blood tests were used to continuously monitor their blood sugar levels.

The WRM’s first day was a control period without exercise. On the second day, participants either walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes in the late morning or before dinner at a moderate pace or for 15 minutes after each meal.The evening post-meal walk was found by the researchers to be the most effective at lowering blood sugar levels for the entire day.

According to the authors of the study, as soon as the participants started walking on the treadmill, the typical exaggerated rise in blood sugar that occurs after supper and typically lasts well into the night and early in the morning was significantly reduced.

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