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Defeat Diabetes
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Sprints Improve Blood Vessel Function

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Saturday, June 07, 2008

(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- Short, intensive exercise has been shown to have great benefit for the heart. A primary example of such an activity is sprinting, which was under focus in a study that confirmed this cardiovascular benefit. 
 
Past research has shown that "high intensity sprints" improve overall stamina, exercise performance, and muscular health. The recent study, out of McMaster University, shows that sprints actually improve blood vessel structure and capability, especially in arteries carrying blood to muscles and the heart.
 
While moderate exercise for extended periods of time, such as jogging, cycling, swimming, and active sports, are known to have great cardiovascular benefit, and improve blood vessel function, high-intensity exercise is not universally accepted as a healthy alternative, or supplement. This study goes to show that sprints can benefit the body in much the same way as moderate exercise.
 
Study author Maureen MacDonald states that "as we age, the arteries become stiffer and tend to lose their ability to dilate, and these effects contribute to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease." The study "found that six weeks of intense sprint interval exercise training improves the structure and function of arteries as much as traditional and longer endurance exercise with larger time commitment." The studies conclusions were made by comparing iindividuals who performed sets of 30-second sprints three times a week to people who cycled for 40-60 minutes five times a week.
 
This research is far from a suggestion to forgo moderate exercise in favor of shorter interval high-intensity exercises, but this discovery could nonetheless benefit many people. Many people have trouble finding time for sufficient moderate exercise, or simply become discouraged by the amount of time required to stay fit. Using the results of this and past studies, it is strongly recommended that high-intensity exercise be used as a supplement to moderate exercise. It is extremely important for general health, and the management and prevention of numerous conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, to exercise regularly and maintain healthy blood vessel function. This study goes to show that there is always time for health.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Donovan, Michelle. MacDonald, Maureen. American Journal of Physiology news release. June 2008.

Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.

Copyright © 2008 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

 
 
 
 
 
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