The risk of complications from type 2 diabetes might be reduced by taking part in just one interval training session with weights, according to research.
Performing a series of simple leg exercises, involving weights, can improve the blood vessel function of people with or without type 2 diabetes, but the findings were particularly significant for those with type 2 diabetes.
Senior researcher assistant professor Jonathan Little, who is from the University of British Colombia (UCB), said: “Individuals with type 2 diabetes are up to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those without.
“After completion of just one bout of exercise, we saw an improvement in blood vessel function, an indicator of heart health and heart attack risk.”
The findings were collected from 35 participants of a similar age, who were split into three groups: those with type 2 diabetes; those who do not exercise and don’t have type 2 diabetes; and those without type 2 diabetes who exercise regularly.
Each group carried out an exercise routine for 20 minutes, which was made up of a warm-up and interval training with weights.
Monique Francois, a UBC graduate student and co-author of the study, said: “All exercisers showed greater blood vessel function improvement after the resistance-based interval training. However, this was most prominent in the type 2 diabetes group.”
She said that their findings show that “resistance-based interval training exercise is a time-efficient and effective method with immediate effects”.
Dr Little noted that further research is needed to validate their findings, but believes his team may have found a “new safe and cost-effective tool to help people manage their diabetes”.
The study was published in the American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

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