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Which type of aerobic training provides greater benefits to patients with type 2 diabetes?

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Posted by on Jul 2, 2023 in Diabetes mellitus |

In a nutshell

This study examined the impact of three types of aerobic training exercises on measurements of heart and metabolic function in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The data showed that greater improvements occurred in heart and breathing function measurements with low-volume high-intensity training (HITT) compared to low-volume moderate to vigorous intensity continuous training (MICT) in these patients.

Some background

Management of T2D in patients involves the control of high blood glucose, fats, and blood pressure (BP). It also involves the retention of lean body mass (BM) and lifestyle changes such as diet and physical activity.

Aerobic training is considered an effective exercise strategy for the prevention and management of T2D. Although MICT has been traditionally recommended for T2D management over three non-consecutive days each week, it is possible that HITT can provide more desirable benefits. HITT involves bouts of high-intensity exercises with interrupted periods of passive or active recovery. HITT may consist of shorter intervals (S-HITT) or longer durations (L-HITT). However, it remains unclear if L-HITT promotes more benefits regarding undesirable cardiovascular stress and discomfort compared to S-HITT in patients with T2D.

Methods & findings

This study included 52 patients with T2D. Patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups. 17 patients received L-HITT. 18 patients had S-HITT. 17 patients received MICT. Training occurred twice weekly for 8 weeks using a motorized treadmill. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c; blood glucose control over the pat 2-3 months), total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TGs), resting systolic blood pressure (SBP), resting diastolic blood pressure (DBP), resting heart rate (resting HR) and maximum oxygen consumption (V O2 max) were measured in patients.

Patients in the L-HITT and S-HITT groups had greater increases in V O2 max compared to those in the MICT group. Patients who received L-HITT showed significantly reduced levels of HbA1c and TGs. Resting SBP was significantly decreased in patients in the L-HITT group.

The bottom line

The study concluded that high-intensity aerobic training such as L-HITT resulted in greater benefits compared to the alternative types of aerobic training in patients with T2D.

The fine print

The study did not include a dietary control group which was needed to determine whether the benefits seen were solely attributable to a specific exercise regimen.

Published By :

Frontiers in Endocrinology

Original Title :

The effects of three different low-volume aerobic training protocols on cardiometabolic parameters of type 2 diabetes patients: A randomized clinical trial.

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