An "exercise snack" may help control blood sugar
Short bursts of exercise before meals may help control blood sugar levels, according to a new study.
Scientists from the University of Otago in New Zealand recruited two women and seven men between ages 18 and 55 who all were confirmed to have insulin resistance—a precursor to Type 2 diabetes in which the body produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. The participants were asked to do three different exercise regimens, each for three consecutive days. The regimens consisted of either doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise before dinner or doing one of two regimens that the researchers called “exercise snacking”—doing six one-minute bursts of intense exercise, separated by one minute of slow walking between each burst, before their three daily meals—done either by walking up an incline or by alternating walking and resistance training.
The findings, published in the journal Diabetologia, showed that when the participants performed the “exercise snacking” routines, their blood sugar levels were more controlled than when the participants performed moderate exercise. Researchers concluded that people with insulin resistance may benefit more from short bursts of intense exercises than longer bouts of moderate exercise; however, further studies including a larger number of participants are needed in order to confirm why intense exercise may be effective.