It is known that type 2 diabetes is a big risk factor of heart disease. People with this condition are more likely to suffer heart attacks.
In a new study, researchers found that high-intensity exercise can help protect heart functions in people with type 2 diabetes.
In diabetic patients, the loss of heart functions caused by diabetes can be reduced or reversed.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Otago.
In the study, the team focused on high-intensity interval training.
It involves short intervals of near maximal effort (>90 percent maximum) exercise like sprinting or stair climbing, separated by intervals of lower intensity exercise such as jogging and fast walking.
The researchers asked diabetic patients to spend 10 minutes doing very high intensity (vigorous) activity during a 25 minute exercise period.
They found that doing three months of high-intensity interval training could help improve heart function in people with type 2 diabetes without any diet or medication change.
They explain that this type of exercise could improve blood sugar control and reduce heart disease risk.
It is also capable of reversing some heart function loss that seems to precede diabetic heart disease.
The team suggests that the incidence of type 2 diabetes continues to increase and the prolonged management of the disease is crippling healthcare systems worldwide.
High-intensity exercise may be an ideal way to prevent heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes.
It is safe and acceptable and also well-attended. The current study showed a greater than 80% adherence rate over the three months.
The researchers hope the findings can help develop new treatment programs for people with type 2 diabetes.
The lead author of the study is Genevieve Wilson.
The study is published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
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