Washington: Exercise, continuous or intermittent, improves insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes, experts say.Previous studies have focused on continuous aerobic exercise with more recent work assessing resistance exercise. There are few studies that assess the effects of intermittent exercise on glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes.Now a recent study has found that intermittent exercise with and without low oxygen concentrations (or hypoxia) can improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics, however exercise while under hypoxic conditions provides greater improvements in glycemic control than intermittent exercise alone.“Current guidelines suggest that health benefits can be gained when patients with type 2 diabetes spend 30 minutes exercising each day, but published data has failed to show intermittent exercise to be effective,” said Richard Mackenzie, PhD, of the University of Westminster in London, U.K., and lead author of the study.“Here we have shown that intermittent exercise seems to improve the glucose profiles of type 2 diabetics with a greater positive effect when intermittent exercise is combined with mild hypoxia, similar to doing the exercise at altitudes of 2500 meters,” Mackenzie added.In this study, eight men with type 2 diabetes completed three exercise trials: 60 minutes of continuous exercise in hypoxia, intermittent exercise in hypoxia and intermittent exercise in a normal oxygen environment.
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