Towards the minimal amount of exercise for improving metabolic health: beneficial effects of reduced-exertion high-intensity interval training

Author: Metcalfe, R.S.; Babraj, J.A.; Fawkner, S.G.; Vollaard, N.B.J.

Description: High-intensity interval training (HIT) has been proposed as a time-efficient alternative to traditional cardiorespiratory exercise training, but is very fatiguing. In this study, we investigated the effects of a reduced-exertion HIT (REHIT) exercise intervention on insulin sensitivity and aerobic capacity. Twenty-nine healthy but sedentary young men and women were randomly assigned to the REHIT intervention (men, n = 7; women, n = 8) or a control group (men, n = 6; women, n = 8). Subjects assigned to the control groups maintained their normal sedentary lifestyle, whilst subjects in the training groups completed three exercise sessions per week for 6 weeks. The 10-min exercise sessions consisted of low-intensity cycling (60 W) and one (first session) or two (all other sessions) brief ‘all-out’ sprints (10 s in week 1, 15 s in weeks 2-3 and 20 s in the final 3 weeks). Aerobic capacity ([Formula: see text]) and the glucose and insulin response to a 75-g glucose load (OGTT) were determined before and 3 days after the exercise program. Despite relatively low ratings of perceived exertion (RPE 13 +/- 1), insulin sensitivity significantly increased by 28% in the male training group following the REHIT intervention (P < 0.05). [Formula: see text] increased in the male training (+15%) and female training (+12%) groups (P < 0.01). In conclusion we show that a novel, feasible exercise intervention can improve metabolic health and aerobic capacity. REHIT may offer a genuinely time-efficient alternative to HIT and conventional cardiorespiratory exercise training for improving risk factors of T2D.

Subject headings: Adult; Exercise Tolerance/physiology; Female; Humans; Insulin/blood; Insulin Resistance/physiology; Male; Oxygen Consumption/physiology; Physical Exertion/physiology; Physical Fitness/physiology; Young Adult

Subject headings:

Publication year: 2012

Journal or book title: European Journal of Applied Physiology

Volume: 112

Issue: 7

Pages: 2767-2775

Find the full text : https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-011-2254-z

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 2268