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AHA: Short, Intense Bouts of Exercise More Beneficial in T2DM

Research suggests brief but harder workouts may provide better blood glucose control

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Short sessions of high-intensity exercise may provide more health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes than longer bouts of less intense activity, according to a study scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, held from Nov. 7 to 11 in Orlando, Fla.

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 percent of their target heart rate, or three 10-minute workouts a day, five days a week, at 85 percent of their target heart rate.

The participants were assessed three months later. Compared to those in the lower-intensity group, those in the high-intensity group did more exercise and had larger decreases in cholesterol and blood glucose levels, lost more weight, and had greater improvements in cardiovascular health. The patients in the high-intensity group showed a more than two-fold greater decrease in hemoglobin A1C levels.

Study coauthor Avinash Pandey, an undergraduate student at the University of Western Ontario said in an American Heart Association news release that the researchers hope to study bursts of intensive exercise in larger and more diverse groups of people. “With further study, burst exercise may become a viable alternative to the current standard of care of low-intensity, sustained exercise for diabetes rehabilitation,” he said.

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