‘Exercise snacks’ before meals: a novel strategy to improve glycaemic control in individuals with insulin resistance
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The aim of this study was to investigate whether small doses of intense exercise before each main meal (‘exercise snacks’) would result in better blood glucose control than a single bout of prolonged, continuous, moderate-intensity exercise in individuals with insulin resistance.
Nine individuals completed three exercise interventions in randomised order. Measures were recorded across 3 days with exercise performed on the middle day, as either: (1) traditional continuous exercise (CONT), comprising 30 min moderate-intensity (60% of maximal heart rate [HRmax]) incline walking before dinner; (2) exercise snacking (ES), consisting of 6 × 1 min intense (90% HRmax) incline walking intervals 30 min before each meal; or (3) composite exercise snacking (CES), encompassing 6 × 1 min intervals alternating between walking and resistance-based exercise, 30 min before meals. Meal timing and composition were controlled within participants for exercise interventions.
ES attenuated mean 3 h postprandial glucose concentration following breakfast (by 1.4 ± 1.5 mmol/l, p = 0.02) but not lunch (0.4 ± 1.0 mmol/l, p = 0.22), and was more effective than CONT following dinner (0.7 ± 1.5 mmol/l below CONT; p = 0.04). ES also reduced 24 h mean glucose concentration by 0.7 ± 0.6 mmol/l (p = 0.01) and this reduction persisted for the subsequent 24 h (lower by 0.6 ± 0.4 mmol/l vs CONT, relative to their baselines; p = 0.01). CES was just as effective as ES (p > 0.05 for all glycaemic variables) at improving glycaemic control.
Dosing exercise as brief, intense ‘exercise snacks’ before main meals is a time-efficient and effective approach to improve glycaemic control in individuals with insulin resistance.
- ‘Exercise snacks’ before meals: a novel strategy to improve glycaemic control in individuals with insulin resistance
Volume 57, Issue 7 , pp 1437-1445
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- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
- Additional Links
- Continuous glucose monitoring
- High-intensity interval exercise
- Postprandial glucose
- Type 2 diabetes
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago, 46 Union St West, PO Box 56, Dunedin, 9076, New Zealand
- 2. Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
- 3. Department of Physiology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
- 4. School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
- 5. Exercise and Nutrition Research Group, Department of Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia
- 6. Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK