High-intensity interval training combining rowing and cycling improves insulin sensitivity, body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness in obesity and type 2 diabetes

September 23, 2020

New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) shows that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) combining cycling and rowing markedly improves insulin sensitivity, body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness in cases of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The study is by Dr Maria Petersen and colleagues at Steno Diabetes Centre Odense, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.

Physical activity is a cornerstone in the treatment and prevention of T2D, however typical aerobic endurance exercise training such as jogging has been found to provide only a modest (10-20%) improvement in insulin sensitivity. Recent studies suggest that HIIT consisting of short bursts of intense anaerobic exercise with less strenuous recovery periods in between may be a more effective strategy, and that the beneficial effects can be enhanced further through the involvement of more muscle groups.

Dr Petersen and her team recruited a total of 48 men for the study. They included 15 men with type 2 diabetes who were also obese (average BMI 31kg/m2), together with two age-matched groups of healthy glucose-tolerant men for comparison. The non-diabetic participants consisted of 15 with obesity (average BMI 31kg/m2) and 18 who were lean (average BMI 24kg/m2).

Participants undertook an 8-week supervised HIIT programme of 3 training sessions per week, which combined periods of cycling and rowing. The effects of the training on participants' bodies was evaluated through a combination of Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans to determine body composition, VO2 max tests to measure oxygen utilisation, and euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps combined with indirect calorimetry to evaluate insulin sensitivity and metabolism, respectively. HIIT-sessions consisted of blocks of 5 x 1 min bursts of exercise interspersed with 1 min rest, shifting between blocks on cycle and rowing ergometers, and with an increasing volume from two to five blocks during the 8 weeks.

At the beginning of the study, men with T2D had 35-37% lower insulin sensitivity and around a 13% lower insulin-mediated suppression of lipid oxidation (lower suppression is an additional indicator of poor insulin sensitivity) compared with the non-diabetic subjects. After undergoing 8 weeks of HIIT, all participants showed big improvements in insulin sensitivity. Average increases of 32-37% were observed in lean men and men with obesity, while the increase among the diabetic group averaged 44%.

Blood sugar levels also improved in those participants with T2D, resulting in both lowered fasting plasma glucose and a fall in glycated haemoglobin (a measure of blood sugar control) (HbA1c).

The authors also found that body fat mass reduced by 1.6-2.3kg in all 3 groups, while fat-free mass (used as a proxy for muscle mass) increased by 0.9-1.5kg in men with obesity, both with and without T2D. In addition, it was observed that VO2max increased by 10% in lean and obese healthy men, and 15% in the T2D group.

The authors conclude: "A HIIT-protocol recruiting both lower and upper body muscles efficiently improves insulin sensitivity, VO2max and body composition to the same extent in obesity and type 2 diabetes as in lean healthy individuals." They add: "In patients with type 2 diabetes, the HIIT-protocol also improved glycaemic control."


Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.