Fighting type 2 diabetes can feel like an uphill battle for many. However, a new study has found that short, functional high-intensity training (F-HIT) may help adults with type 2 diabetes improve their beta-cell functions.
The small study, to be published in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism was the first of its kind and analysed beta-cell function in resistance training.
Beta cells, which are located in the pancreas, produce, store and secrete insulin. This allows your body to use sugar for energy. In type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to its insulin and so it produces more to compensate, however it is unable to produce enough insulin for efficient blood sugar control.
During research, twelve adults with type 2 diabetes participated in a F-HIT program designed and conducted by a certified CrossFit trainer for six weeks. F-HIT workouts combine functional movements such as gymnastics, weight lifting and aerobic exercise. The volunteers were given an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), used to measure beta-cell function, before and after the six weeks. They also gave body fat and mass measurements.
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“Adults with [type 2 diabetes] may find it difficult to adhere to a strict exercise regimen, citing ‘lack of time’ as one of the primary barriers,” a group of Ohio researchers wrote.
“F-HIT programmes like CrossFit may address this barrier by providing structure, supervision and accountability, with a minimal time commitment.”
The results showed that the short-term F-HIT programme significantly increased beta-cell and liver function as well as exercise capacity. “Here we show that exercise at high intensity for as little as 10 to 20 minutes per day, three days a week for six weeks improves beta-cell function in adults with [type 2 diabetes],” the researchers wrote.
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