Exercise is known to benefit people with diabetes. Researchers are now studying the effect of high intensity exercise, which involves short bursts of high intensity workouts. A recent study presented to the American Diabetes Association showed that short sessions of exercise may provide more health benefits for people with type-2 diabetes than longer bouts of less intense activity.
The research included 76 adults recently diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. Their average age was 67. They were randomly assigned to do either one 30-minute exercise session five days a week at 65% of their target heart rate (low-intensity group), or three 10-minute workouts a day, five days a week, at 85% of their target heart rate ( high-intensity group).
The participants were assessed three months later. It was observed that compared to those in the lower intensity group, those in the high0intensity group did more exercise and had larger decreases in cholesterol and blood sugar levels, lost more weight, and showed greater improvements in heart health. Also, the patients in the high-intensity group showed a more than two-fold greater decrease in hemoglobin A1C levels. Moreover, it was noticed that the participants could fit in high –intensity exercise into their schedules, making them more consistent with their exercise regime.
As a result, they ended up working out more each week. However, a bigger study is validating this finding. The silver lining is that burst exercise may become viable alternative to low intensity sustained exercise for diabetes rehabilitation.