The study by American College Of Physicians revealed that patients at risk for diabetes or heart disease may want to choose their workout intensity based on health goals.
Exercise has been shown to reduce obesity and related glucose tolerance, but whether increasing exercise intensity improves outcomes has not been determined.
Participants were randomly assigned to perform either short, high intensity workouts or long, lower intensity workouts five times a week. All participants were instructed to eat a healthy diet during the study but did not reduce their caloric intake.
After 24 weeks, all participants experienced similar reductions in waist circumference, but only participants in the high intensity exercise group experienced reduction in two-hour glucose levels.
According to lead author Robert Ross, the results show a clear benefit to higher intensity workouts for those who wish to reduce glucose levels. Higher intensity can be achieved simply by increasing the incline while walking on a treadmill or walking at a brisker pace. Participants were surprised by how easy it was for them to attain a high intensity exercise level.
The study is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
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