A study has revealed that short high intensity workouts, as few as 6 sessions over 2 weeks, quickly reduces blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes type 2, providing a potential solution for those who find it difficult to comply with exercise guidelines.
The study discovered that a total of half an hour of intermittent high-intensity exercise each week, which involved a total time commitment of 75 minutes, reduced blood sugar spikes following meals, reduced 24-hour blood sugar levels, as well as improved mitochondrial capacity of skeletal muscle, which is a metabolic health marker.
These results are interesting because they indicate that very strenuous exercise for short time periods could offer a lot of the same health benefits that traditional exercising does. This research demonstrates that intense interval training could be a powerful, time efficient way to improve glycemic regulation in individuals with diabetes type 2.
Existing recommendations suggest 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week, double the time of training commitment of those who took part in the study, which can be difficult to manage for a lot of individuals, especially those having diabetes.
For the research, each participant had fitness levels assessed, a baseline examination was given to test blood sugar for a 24-hour period, and thigh muscle biopsies were taken to measure proteins associated with health status.
Each workout required a stationary bike ride for 10 bouts of 60 seconds at approximately 90% of maximal heart rate, with 60 seconds in between every exercise bout. The routine included a warm up as well as cool down as well, so that each workout session lasted 25 minutes altogether.
Blood sugar levels improved in participants despite the fact that they didn’t lose weight throughout the short 2-week study.
The improved glycemic control could be associated with changes in the muscles, including an improved ability for clearing blood glucose following meals.