Washington DC: Diabetic? You may want to start alternating short bursts of intense activity with brief rest periods as a recent study has revealed that it delivers more benefits than lower-intensity exercise.
The University of Western Ontario researchers found that short bursts of high-intensity exercise improved cholesterol, blood sugar and weight among Type 2 diabetes patients more than 30 minutes of sustained, lower-intensity exercise
They showed that after three months of high-intensity exercise in 10-minute bursts done three times per day, five days a week, led to an average 0.82 percent decrease in three-month blood sugar patterns compared with just 0.25 percent among those who performed more sustained, lower-intensity exercise also five times per week.
Exercise is known to help reduce cholesterol and weight as well as manage Type 2 diabetes - all risk factors for heart disease. Historically, diabetes management programs have focused primarily on low-intensity, sustained exercise, said lead author Avinash Pandey.
Pandey noted that more may be accomplished with short bursts of vigorous exercise, in which patients achieve a higher maximum target heart rate and it may be easier to fit into busy schedules.
Researchers said it's unclear why shorter bursts of high-intensity exercise would lead to more significant improvements. One theory is that higher intensity exercise uses energy in a different way, suggests Pandey.
With further study, burst exercise may become a viable alternative to the current standard of care of low-intensity, sustained exercise for diabetes rehabilitation, he added.
The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2015.