Background: The magnitude and duration of postprandial blood glucose elevation seem to be important risk factors for diabetes Type 2 and coronary heart disease. AIM.: To investigate whether post-meal light physical activity might reduce the blood glucose increase.
Methods: Nine young (18-25 years) and 10 middle-aged (45-65 years) sedentary women, and 10 young and 10 middle-aged trained women participated in a meal/physical activity trial. Commencing after an overnight fast, each subject participated in two experiments, carried out on separate days: Day 1, the subjects were given cornflakes (1 g carbohydrate per kg body weight) to be ingested during 15 min. Blood glucose was determined while resting, before meal, and each 15 min for the next 120 min. Day 2 was similar to Day 1 but included light bicycling exercise for 30 min after finishing the meal.
Results: In all trials, irrespective of age and training condition, light bicycling for 30 min after the carbohydrate meal blunted the rise in blood glucose.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate an acute blood glucose reducing effect of light physical activity and of a magnitude similar to that obtained by hypoglycemic drugs, even after intake of a large dose of high glycemic food.