The Effect of an Acute Bout of High-Intensity Interval Exercise on Glycemic Control in Sedentary Subjects
Seger, Edward William, Jr.
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OBJECTIVES: Traditional aerobic exercise has been used to improve glycemic control in sedentary subjects, but requires a significant time commitment. High intensity interval exercise (HIT) may constitute a more time efficient approach to training, however the acute impact of HIT on glucose tolerance is unclear. The purpose of the study is to test the hypothesis that a single time efficient bout of interval exercise is effective at improving glucose clearance immediately post exercise without a concomitant increase in insulin concentration. METHODS: Eight sedentary but healthy males (aged 18-31) underwent a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test (75gm glucose) following two different protocols: 1) control (no exercise); 2) high-intensity interval running (HIT; 10 1-minute intervals at a workload corresponding to 90% VO2max interspersed with 1-minute active recovery periods; total workout time 26 minutes); RESULTS: Following HIT, blood glucose was significantly lower (P<0.05) than control at 60 minutes but not at 0 or 120 minutes. Insulin was not significantly different at any time point following HIT. No change in incremental area under the curve was observed with glucose or insulin. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that HIT can acutely improve glucose tolerance and may therefore serve as a time efficient mode of exercise for time-constrained individuals.