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High-Intensity Exercise Helps Regulate Blood Sugar

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Sunday, February 01, 2009

(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- Recent research has found that intense exercise for short periods of time greatly improves the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This finding provides an alternative in helping stay fit and preventing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), for people who feel they don't have time for more conventional exercise regiments.

Specifically, "high-intensity" three-minute workouts, which were performed every other day, were under investigation in the current study. Sixteen males participated in the study, all considered to have previously "sedentary" lifestyles. They performed "sprints" on stationary bicycles, totalling approximately three minutes, at 30 second intervals, on the highest intensity setting.

Preventing diabetes, CVD, obesity, and numerous other conditions, is highly reliant on individual levels of activity. In other words, exercise is crucial in maintaining health and preventing potentially fatal diseases. Many people either lack the motivation, or the time, to exercise the commonly suggested 5-10 hours per week, which is generally supposed to be a combination of "vigorous" and "moderate" aerobic exercise. For these individuals, the following results, which indicate that performing primarily vigorous exercises might be equally effective, could be extremely important and promising.

According to lead researcher, Dr. James Timmons, "the low volume, high intensity training utilized in our study substantially improved both insulin action and glucose clearance in otherwise sedentary young males and this indicates that we do not yet fully appreciate the traditional connection between exercise and diabetes." Dr. Timmons also says more generally, that "the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes is substantially reduced through regular physical activity. Unfortunately, many people feel they simply don't have the time to follow current exercise guidelines. What we have found is that doing a few intense muscle exercises, each lasting only about 30 seconds, dramatically improves your metabolism in just two weeks."

There are few people in the world that can legitimately claim to not have three minutes, a few times per week, at their disposal for exercise. This small amount of time, devoted to high-intensity aerobics, could add substantial time and quality to many individuals lives.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Timmons, James. Baldwin, Graeme. BMC Endocrine Disorders news release. January 2009.

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

Copyright © 2009 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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