Short bouts of exercises may be better for a diabetes type 2 patient than long half-hour periods, reports Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes).
The study conducted by New Newcastle University (UK), is the first to show that high-intensity intermittent exercise improves heart structure and benefits diabetes control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Type 2 diabetes patients are advised to have a physically active lifestyle along with a planned diet. People often prefer aerobic exercises. However, the effects on the heart of intense or extensive exercises is not yet documented and therefore not known with certainty.
Being diabetic invariably has a detrimental effect on the heart. Under the circumstances, the study found that a diabetic would benefit more from brief bouts of exercise which will also reverse any abnormalities of the heart that may have developed.
In the study, the researchers tested the effect of repeated intense cycling exercises of 90 seconds or less on diabetes control and the heart. They learnt that high-intensity intermittent exercise significantly improved cardiac structure and function. It increased the heart rate more than did longer periods of exercise at a modest intensity. This particularly benefited the left ventricle.
In type 2 diabetics the left ventricle suffers and is altered. In the study, the left ventricle was shown to become stronger and to work more efficiently. Added to that, there was a significant but modest improvement in diabetes control.
The data gathered in the study indicated that long bouts (30 minutes or thereabouts) of continuous exercise were better replaced by repeated short periods of exercise. This gave strong benefits to a diabetic. The study further fortified the idea that a physically active life was best for type 2 diabetes patients.