Three Facts About Diabetes and HIT: AKA High Intensity Interval Training

by Cindy

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the use of high intensity interval training (HIIT) for weight loss and fat burning.  I have recently started the Beachbody program Turbo Fire which is a work out program that incorporates high intensity interval training.  The program boasts amazing results and that through the use of high intensity interval training participants could burn up to 9 times the fat than with traditional exercise.  Certainly results like this peaked my interest and I found myself researching these claims.  What I learned is that studies have found that this type of training could benefit patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes!

Interval training does not have to be found in the format of an expensive workout program.  Many people could benefit from interval training simply by using a treadmill or the cardio equipment of their choice.  This type of work out requires the participant to work at a level of high intensity for brief periods, typically 30-60 seconds followed by a recovery period.  These work out regimens are often shorter than traditional cardio routines but people who really push through the high intensity sessions will find amazing results.

Studies have found that people who participate in interval training can see:

  1. Improved Glycemic Control:  A study recently published in Diabetes Care found that participants who engaged in an interval training walking program saw improved glucose control when hemoglobin A1c was measured.  The study found that there was no change in the group that participated in continuous walking.
  2. Lower Body Fat:  This same study found that body fat was decreased in the interval training group and that there was no change found in the continuous walking group.
  3. Improved Aerobic Fitness: Studies have shown that people who engage in high intensity interval work outs have a greater aerobic capacity following 8-12 weeks of training.

If you are interested in interval training, it is best to discuss this method with your physician as it is very strenuous.  It is also a good idea to consult with a trainer to design the appropriate work out program for you!


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