According to a new study, short bursts of intensive exercise (also known as high-intensity interval training) provide a more “time-efficient” and realistic way of losing weight and preventing, delaying and managing type-2 diabetes.
In fact, short periods of vigorous activity in quick succession are more "effective" than longer forms of exercise to optimise the body's ability to use and store blood sugar. As for the effects of exercise on type-2 diabetes, it improves the body's ability to use insulin to absorb blood sugar.
The guidelines for weight loss suggest that 200 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week are required for long-term reductions. However, previous research found that only five per cent of people in some industrialised countries achieve this amount.
In response, the study has proposed high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as an alternative "time-efficient exercise intervention that may bring about similar benefits to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise."
"This study involved a meta-analysis of experimental research, allowing us to pull together evidence and establish cause and effect. We have demonstrated that HIIT conveys benefits to cardiometabolic health which in the cases of insulin resistance and aerobic fitness may be superior to the effect of traditional continuous training,” said researcher Charlotte Jelleyman.
"HIIT may therefore be suitable as an alternative to continuous exercise training in the promotion of metabolic health and weight loss, particularly in those with type-2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. However, given the identified limitations, more research is needed to determine both behavioural responses and clinical benefits over the longer term."
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