High intensity interval training has been touted as the latest, greatest physical intervention. A recent study supports the benefits of this form of training, particularly for those at risk of type 2 diabetes.
A recent study published in the journal Obesity Reviews has reviewed all available research data on the effects of high intensity interval training on glucose regulation and insulin resistance. For the purposes of the review study, clinical trials assessing high intensity interval training that consisted of more than 2 weeks of training, with outcome measurements including insulin resistance, fasting glucose levels, HbA1c, or fasting insulin levels were included in the analysis.
The study reported that after participation in high intensity interval training, there was a reduction in insulin resistance, when compared with either continuous training, or controls. In addition, when comparing with control groups, levels of HbA1c were reduced by approximately 2%, while over 1kg of weight loss was also observed.
The results also demonstrated that participants with type 2 diabetes, or participants who were at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, had a reduction in fasting glucose levels following high intensity interval training, when compared with controls.
Overall, the review of clinical data suggest that high intensity interval training may not just be the latest fad, but may be an effective way to improve metabolic health. This appears to be particularly true for patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or at high risk of developing the disease. The researchers suggest that further studies are warranted, given the findings of this review.
Jelleyman, C, Yates, T, O’Donovan, G, Gray, LJ, King, JA, Khunti, K, Davies, MJ. “The effects of high-intensity interval training on glucose regulation and insulin resistance: a meta-analysis” Obesity Reviews, Volume 16, Issue 11, pages 942–961, November 2015
Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD