Very light Physical Activity after a Meal Blunts the Rise in Blood Glucose and Insulin

Eivind Aadland*, 1, Arne T. Høstmark1, 2
1 The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Postbox 4014 Ullevål Stadion, 0806 Oslo, Norway
2 Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Institute of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway

© 2008 Aadland and Høstmark

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Loftesnes Hytter, 6856 Sogndal, Norway;


The objective of this study was to examine the impact of post-meal light exercise on the rise in blood glucose and insulin. After fasting overnight, nine healthy subjects (age 37.3 ± 12.2 years) participated in three experiments in a crossover design: Day 1 (no exercise), the subjects were given cornflakes, and blood glucose and plasma insulin were determined before meal, and each 15 min for the next 165 min. Day 2 and 3 were similar to Day 1, but included 30 min very light and light intensity bicycle exercise after the meal. Both levels of exercise blunted and delayed the rise in blood glucose and plasma insulin. Bicycling-related reductions in peak glucose and insulin values correlated with peak values the control day (r = -0.83 to -0.93, P ≤ 0.006), as did reductions in AUC and IAUC. We conclude that even very light exercise after a carbohydrate meal blunts the rise in blood glucose and insulin.

Keywords: Glucose, insulin, exercise, postprandial.