Exercise, type 1 diabetes mellitus and blood glucose: The implications of exercise timing

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Abstract

The scientific literature shows that exercise has many benefits for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Yet, several barriers to exercise in this population exist, such as post-exercise hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia. Several studies suggest that the timing of exercise may be an important factor in preventing exercise-induced hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia. However, there is a paucity of evidence solely focused on summarising findings regarding exercise timing and the impact it has on glucose metabolism in type 1 diabetes. This report suggests that resistance or high-intensity interval exercise/training (often known as HIIT) may be best commenced at the time of day when an individual is most likely to experience a hypoglycaemic event (i.e., afternoon/evening) due to the superior blood glucose stability resistance and HIIT exercise provides. Continuous aerobic-based exercise is advised to be performed in the morning due to circadian elevations in blood glucose at this time, thereby providing added protection against a hypoglycaemic episode. Ultimately, the evidence concerning exercise timing and glycaemic control remains at an embryonic stage. Carefully designed investigations of this nexus are required, which could be harnessed to determine the most effective, and possibly safest, time to exercise for those with type 1 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1021800
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Volume13
Early online date28 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
RF is funded by a Department for Education (DfE) NI scholarship to support this work as part of his PhD programme.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Fitzpatrick, Davison, Wilson, McMahon and McClean.

Keywords

  • exercise
  • circadian
  • glucose metabolism
  • type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • molecular clock

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