Similar to most things in life- quality is often more important than quantity. Hence, new research that shows that short bouts of exercise controls blood sugar in diabetics.  A recent study suggests that the intensity of your workout is far more important than the amount, particularly if you have diabetes.

The overall theme behind Exercise Menu is to teach you how to perform brief, high-intensity exercise (20-minute workouts), a few times per week to maintain your health and prevent chronic disease. Each day, more and more research is supporting this important lesson.

McMaster University researchers published a small, yet important study further stressing the importance exercise, specifically high-intensity exercise, in controlling blood sugar levels.

In the study, eight patients with diabetes were asked to perform six, high-intensity 30-minute exercise sessions over a two week period. Again, only six workouts.

Now when I say “high-intensity” this means exercising to the point where you are sweating, breathing hard and your heart rate elevates. This is not referring to your typical walk, light jog, leisurely bike ride or yoga class. It’s great to stay active with these activities, but you need a bit more exertion for significant improvements in fitness to be seen.

As you may have guessed, positive results were seen with such minimal, but quality time dedicated to exercise. After two weeks, they found that 24-hour blood sugar concentrations were lower, there was a reduced blood sugar spike after meals and there were more mitochondria (energy producing units) in skeletal muscle. Further, changes were seen even if participants did not lose weight, supporting the theory that fitness is more important than weight for longevity.

A great point, particularly in support of Exercise Menu Workouts, is that the participants in this study performed circuit-type workouts. They simply rode a stationary bike and performed 10 bouts of 60 seconds of pedaling at 90% of the “fastest pace” they can possibly perform. They were allowed one minute of rest between each burst. Again, very similar to the workouts available on this site.

So, if you are seriously looking to controlling your blood sugars and possibly getting off of insulin, or other diabetes medications, do not hesitate to jump into a workout today!

Have you noticed changes in your blood sugar readings after regularly exercising? Share your thoughts and comments below.