Sprint to the Finish Line?

According to the latest research published in February, doing 7.5 minutes of intense exercise each week is just as good as 30 minutes of moderate physical activity done every day when it comes to reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes (or insulin resistance if you have type 1), and maybe even more so. UK researchers found that young, sedentary men who did 15 minutes of all-out sprinting on an exercise bike (broken down into 4 to 6 30-second sprints with four minutes of rest between) over two weeks substantially improved their ability to metabolize blood sugar after drinking 75 grams of glucose (i.e., during an oral glucose tolerance test). From an exercise physiology point of view, the reason that intense exercise may be helpful is that it causes you to recruit more muscle fibers and use up more stored carbs (glycogen) in less time. It also helps you retain the muscle fibers you would lose over time if you don’t recruit them. You likely won’t get as fit doing this compared with endurance activities, but it’s an interesting idea none the less. Just start out slowly if you haven’t been doing anything intense and work up to that higher level slowly. If you don’t have time for less than 8 minutes of vigorous exercise a week, we need to talk…

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