Diabetics Can Get Fit During Commercial Breaks: Exercise has always been a concern for diabetics. We have used this space to express bold encouragement for those living with diabetes to engage in meaningful exercise. That’s why we were interested to discover a report in the journal BioMed Central Endocrine Disorders.
This report suggests that it only takes seven minutes of extremely vigorous exercise per week to see enough change in how the body manages blood glucose that diabetes could be avoided or symptoms reduced.
Diabetes itself is often linked to a sedentary lifestyle so these short bursts of sustained energetic exercise can be profoundly beneficial. Many diabetics hear that the exercise recommendations include hours of physical exercise per week and generally give up in despair believing they could never achieve such a lofty goal. The research conducted by the University in Edinburgh seems to indicate even modest spurts of physical activity can have a great affect on blood glucose and by default diabetes.
Six out of every 100 people will die from complications related to diabetes. Worldwide cases are currently at close to one quarter of a billion people. Would the news about a short period of effective exercise mean substantial hope to diabetics? The authors of this research seem to think so.
How they conducted the study.
Sixteen men in their 20s were selected for the study. In each case these men were not conditioned to exercise, but were generally healthy. The test subjects were asked to ride a stationary bike as vigorously as possible for 30 seconds. They were asked to do this four times a day – two days a week.
The men were checked before and after the two-week study and there was a 23% improvement in the way insulin was able to flush glucose from the men’s bodies. Lead author James Timmons indicated that tense muscle contractions in the brief exercise enhanced glucose removal.
What this report is saying.
The intent of this report is to provide hope for those who do not lead an active lifestyle. If short bursts of physical activity can be managed it is entirely possible to assist your body in developing an atmosphere that helps insulin do its job more effectively.
What this report is not saying.
This report is not an encouragement to reduce exercise you may already be doing. This report was conducted to see if short bursts of physical activity would help clear glucose. It does not conclude that regular exercise is no longer important. The reason this is true is that this study did nothing to gauge other benefits of extended exercise such as weight control or hypertension.
This idea is a bold attempt to encourage those living with diabetes or fear they may be headed in that direction to include some meaningful physical exercise even if that time is relatively short.
With the millions of dollars spent annually for the care of diabetes this may be a message whose time has come. For some individuals this may be an effective starting point when it comes to exercise. The effectiveness of this exercise can be enhanced through the use of an accountability partner.
It should be noted that the research also indicates that these short bursts of highly vigorous exercise can have as much benefit for glucose clearing as hours of endurance training.
One might suggest that diabetics include short bursts of physical exertion in their routines for insulin effectiveness while maintaining longer endurance exercises for weight loss and improved blood pressure objectives.