The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that diabetes afflicts roughly 29 million Americans. Sadly, another 86 million U.S. adults are labeled as dangerously close to receiving a type 2 diagnosis.
Some of the most common treatment-based options for this particular condition have included taking medications and watching one’s diet, but exercise has long been known to help as well. Now that recommendation stands even more clarified with new research finding that one form of exercise, in particular, provides positive effects for those with type 2 diabetes.
On April 20, 2017, a Finnish study was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. Its goal was to determine whether sprint interval training, a form of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, and continuous moderate-intensity training had the same effect on glucose uptake for individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Twenty-six people ultimately participated in the research. One-half engaged in the interval training for a period of two weeks (with three training sessions per week) and the other half performed continuous training for the same amount of time.
After testing the participants’ glucose uptake levels both before and after the six training sessions, researchers realized that, while both groups were able to increase their body’s glucose uptake when measured in the biceps, interval training was more effective in regard to the glucose response in the thigh muscles specifically. Put simply, interval training provided a more positive full-body glucose response.
An All-Natural Treatment Option with Lots of Benefits
This is a promising finding for individuals with diabetes, as well as those who are all-too-close to developing this dangerous condition, as HIIT is potentially an all-natural treatment option for blood glucose control. Additionally, as is shown by this study, it’s one that may likely provide positive results within a relatively short timeframe, possibly reducing or eliminating the need for blood sugar medications entirely.
HIIT has been connected with other positive health effects as well, namely improved aging and enhanced cardiovascular function. Therefore, performing high-intensity interval exercises on a regular basis provides a number of advantages, making it an option worth considering.
How to Incorporate HIIT
To incorporate HIIT into your current exercise program, well-known Biggest Loser personal trainer, Jillian Michaels, suggests that you add it to every other day at the most to give your muscles time to recoup after the grueling exercise session. Stick to your low- to moderate-intensity cardio the other days and you’ll have a well-rounded exercise program.
Most gyms or recreational centers offer some form of HIIT classes, making this a great option for you if you find more motivation in in-person groups. If you struggle with diabetes, or if your blood sugar is higher than it should be, HIIT may be able to help you bring those glucose levels back down to normal. At least, that’s what research now suggests.