Researchers from the University of Otago have found that high-intensity exercise may reduce or even reverse the loss of heart function in people with type 2 diabetes.
High-intensity interval training involves short intervals of intense exercise such as sprinting or stair climbing, paired with intervals of moderate intensity exercise such as jogging or fast walking.
The aim of this form of physical activity is for people to spend 10 minutes engaged in vigorous activity during a 25-minute exercise period.
HIIT May Improve Cardiovascular Heart Of Adults With Type 2 Diabetes
Research has shown that lifestyle changes and improved glycemic control can improve some outcomes for people with diabetes, but cardiovascular disease remains as one of the leading causes of death in these patients.
In a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Genevieve Wilson and colleagues found that three months of high-intensity interval training may improve heart function in type 2 diabetes patients sans changes in medications or diet.
The study also showed that people with type 2 diabetes are willing to train hard. More than 80 percent of the participants adhered to the program that spanned over a three-month period.
"HIIT training increased the LVSV response to exercise in adults with type 2 diabetes. These data suggest that HIIT can improve LV filling and emptying during exercise and reverse early cardiac consequences of type 2 diabetes," the researchers wrote in their study.
The researchers said that exercise is a cornerstone of diabetic treatment, but the impaired heart function of people with diabetes often makes it difficult for them to exercise effectively. The study, however, showed that high-intensity exercise program for middle-aged diabetic patients was safe and acceptable.
Other Benefits Of HIIT
The findings of the study offer hope that HIIT can be used as an inexpensive way to improve heart health of people with type 2 diabetes.