High-intensity exercise reduces glucose levels

Tue, 03 Mar 2015
Fixed exercise levels are found to reduce abdominal obesity, but high intensity exercise may be more effective in decreasing glucose levels, a study reports.

Exercise is important for people with diabetes as it can improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications such as heart disease.

Dr Robert Ross, PhD, and colleagues at Queen’s University School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Kingston, Ontario aimed to determine how exercise amount and intensity respectively affected abdominal obesity and glucose tolerance.

300 adults with abdominal obesity were recruited by researchers and evaluated between 2009 and 2013. Participants were assigned to one of three groups; the first engaged in high intensity exercise for short durations, the second performed low-intensity workouts for longer periods, and a control group who did not exercise.

Glucose reduction

Similar levels of weight loss were observed in the two exercise intervention groups after six months, but reductions in two-hour glucose levels were noted in those who exercised with higher intensity.

Participants in the high-intensity group displayed a nine per cent improvement in glucose tolerance. There was only a negligible change noted in the low-intensity group.

Reductions in waist circumference were greater among both exercise groups when compared to the control group, with any form of exercise found to be more beneficial than doing none at all.

Ross and colleagues hailed the results as: "encouraging and provide treatment options for clinicians who seek lifestyle-based strategies for reducing abdominal obesity in adults at increased health risk."

The results of this study were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
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