Is HIIT training the answer to improved glycemic control?

November 21, 2019 - Dr Jyothi Shenoy and Silla Jónsdóttir

 

Most persons living with Type 2 diabetes are able to contribute greatly to stable blood sugar levels by performing regular exercises. Exercises can offer numerous benefits, but it is important to be aware of which exercises can be more effective and how to perform them to be able to derive optimum benefits for controlling blood sugar levels.

 

Introducing HITT or High Intensity Interval Training! HIIT is considered useful and effective form of exercise for persons living with Type 2 diabetes. Here is a brief discussion about how HIIT can help to improve their glycemic control.

 

High-intensity interval training involves short but strenuous bursts of activities that are interspersed with variable periods of rest and relaxation. During the period of rest, you may keep moving, though not intensely. The period of activity needs to be increased in duration and intensity as the person gains better strength and stamina. Research studies have shown that a relatively shorter duration of intense physical activities such as HIIT may provide immense health benefits that can be comparable to the longer periods of simple and less strenuous activities.

 

HIIT can help control Type 2 diabetes in several ways, including increasing the body´s energy demands with the bursts of strenuous physical activities. As a result, the body’s defense mechanisms work towards increasing the supply of glucose to these muscles in an attempt to replenish their energy stores. This is how glucose circulating in the blood is utilized faster by the muscles causing a decline in the blood sugar levels.

 

HIIT can also support liver function as research has indicated that the rapid contractions of muscles during HIIT exercises also result in the stimulation of processes called gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis in the liver cells. Gluconeogenesis refers to the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources such as fats and can support the breakdown of fats to be utilized as a source of energy to restore the fuel reserves of the body after an intense HIIT session. Glycogenolysis, on the other hand, stimulates the breakdown of glycogen to release a form of glucose, which is rapidly utilized by the body. These activities would regulate blood sugar levels by improving the ability of the body to use glucose thereby controlling blood sugar levels.

 

Some of the other benefits associated with HIIT is improved cardiorespiratory fitness, which indicates how aerobically fit you are and how effectively your circulatory system sends oxygen throughout your body .

 

One of the great aspects of HIIT is that you can choose from a wide range of exercises, including cycling, squats, lunges, and push-ups. Depending on the individual’s ́ physical abilities and stamina, HIIT can be combined with aerobic exercises or resistance training to derive faster and better results for controlling Type 2 diabetes. A regular exercise program that includes HIIT and other forms of physical activities can promote the utilization of glucose in the blood so that it can be used as a source of energy by the body. This can help in controlling blood sugar levels and prevent common complications of diabetes such as retinopathy, neuropathy, and cataracts. See you out there!

 

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