“Exercise Snacking” Improves Glycemic Control

“Exercise Snacking” Improves Glycemic Control

(HealthDay News) — In individuals with insulin resistance, short bursts of intense exercise may be an effective alternative to a prolonged bout of continuous, moderate exercise for improving glycemic control, according to research published online May 8 inDiabetologia.

Monique E. Francois, of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and colleagues assigned nine individuals with insulin resistance to three exercise interventions (before meals) in randomized order:

30 minutes of continuous, moderate-intensity incline walking (CONT); exercise snacking (ES) consisting of six one-minute intervals of intense incline walking; or composite ES consisting of six one-minute intervals of alternating walking and resistance training (CES).

The researchers found that ES reduced mean three-hour postprandial glucose concentration following breakfast (by 1.4±1.5mmol/L; P=0.02) but not following lunch (by 0.4±1.0mmol/L; P=0.22). ES was more effective than CONT in reducing mean three-hour postprandial glucose concentration following dinner (lower by 0.7±1.5mmol/L; P=0.04). ES reduced 24-hour mean glucose concentration by 0.7±0.6mmol/L (P=0.01), and this reduction continued for the next 24 hours (lower by 0.6±0.4mmol/L than CONT relative to their baseline values; P=0.01). CES was as effective for improving glycemic control as ES (P>0.05 for all glycemic variables).

“Dosing exercise as brief, intense ‘exercise snacks’ before main meals is a time-efficient and effective approach to improve glycemic control in individuals with insulin resistance,” the authors write.