If you’re trying to fit exercise into your schedule, you may want to consider an afternoon or evening session. New findings published in the journal Diabetologia found that getting moving between noon and midnight is the best window if you’re hoping to better regulate blood sugar levels.

Exercising in the afternoon or the evening might help lower your blood sugar levels

To reach these findings, researchers rounded up 6,700 participants between the ages of 45 and 65 with a body mass index of over 27. Each person had a physical exam, which measured their blood sugar samples. This chronicled their blood glucose and insulin levels during periods without eating and after eating. Each participant also filled out a questionnaire that detailed their lifestyle, and select participants had MRIs done to measure liver fat.

blood sugar levels
Image Credit: Diabetesmagazijn.nl/Unsplash

The scientists then tracked 955 participants for four days and nights through the use of accelerometers and heart rate monitors. They split their daily tracking into three time frames: 6 a.m. to noon, noon to 6 p.m., and 6 p.m. to midnight. This assessment helped them figure out when people performed the most rigorous exercise.

The result? After culling 755 participants’ data, the researchers found that people who exercised in the afternoon were able to keep their blood sugar levels in check by cutting their insulin resistance by 18%, while those who moved in the evening experienced a 25% decrease. The team noted that morning fitness sessions didn’t lead to changes in insulin resistance or liver fat content. While they said that this information is helpful, more research is needed to uncover how the time of day plays a role in controlling blood sugar levels.

This story first appeared on www.marthastewart.com

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