Washington: A new research has revealed that high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where short bursts of activity are mixed with rest periods, increases glucose metabolism in muscles as well as insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes.
Already after a two-week training period, the glucose uptake in thigh muscles returned to a normal level.
The project from the University of Turku, Finland, studied the health impacts of high-intensity interval training on healthy people and diabetics, and the results are encouraging.
– HIIT has a rapid impact on metabolism. However, no great differences have been demonstrated between the impact of HIIT and moderate intensity continuous training over a longer period of time. The main benefit of high-intensity interval training is mostly that it takes less time, said Tanja Sjoros.
First in the study, healthy men in their forties and fifties did either high-intensity interval training or traditional, moderate intensity training. Later, a group of people with insulin resistance carried out a similar two-week training routine. Some of them had type 2 diabetes and some prediabetes, i.e. their blood sugar levels were elevated but not yet high enough to indicate type 2 diabetes.
– Before the training started, the glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity of the insulin resistant persons were significantly reduced compared to the group of healthy individuals. However, already after two weeks of high intensity training, which amounted to six training sessions, the glucose metabolism in the thigh muscles achieved the starting level of the healthy control group, tells Sjoros.
In HIIT, the training sessions are highly intensive but short and followed by recovery period. For example, HIIT can be carried out in 30-second training sessions of maximum intensity and with a recovery sessions of a couple of minutes.
Glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity improved after both the high-intensity training and the moderate intensity continuous training, so the study suggests that people can choose the type of training based on their own preferences.
– However, the group that did moderate intensity training achieved only half of the improvement experienced by the HIIT group during the two-week period. Therefore, this type of training requires a longer period of time. If you have only little time to spare, high-interval training could be a great alternative to traditional training that requires more time but is lower in intensity, says Sjoros.
HIIT also improves endurance. In the study, the endurance of type 2 diabetics increased only in the HIIT group, but earlier studies have shown that, when the training routine continues for over two weeks, endurance increases with the traditional, moderate intensity training just as much as it does with high-interval training.
The research results published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. (ANI)