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HIIT improves heart function for Type 2 diabetics

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

hiit improves heart function for type 2 diabetics

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  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT), a type of exercise that combines brief sessions of high-intensity activity with bouts of rest, improved heart function in people with Type 2 diabetes
  • Adults with Type 2 diabetes who engaged in HIIT for three months had improved left ventricular exercise response (the left ventricle is the lower left chamber of the heart)
  • The HIIT group also increased their VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can handle while exercising; this can be utilized as a measure of cardiovascular fitness, by 15%
  • Other research suggests HIIT improves aerobic fitness and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a measure of damage caused by elevated blood glucose, in diabetics

Type 2 diabetes is associated with reduced left ventricular function in the heart. The left ventricle is the lower left chamber of the heart, and if it gets bigger and is unable to contract enough to pump blood throughout the body, it can lead to heart failure. In turn, at least one-third of patients with heart failure also have diabetes, showing the strong association one disease has with the other.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve diabetes outcomes, including in the case of your heart. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), a type of exercise that combines brief sessions of high-intensity activity with bouts of rest, has emerged as one of the most efficient workouts available, and this holds true for improving heart function in diabetics as well.


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