High-intensity aerobic interval training improves aerobic fitness and HbA1c among persons diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
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It remains to be established how high-intensity aerobic interval training (HAIT) affects risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes (TD2). This study investigated effects of HAIT on maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), glycated Hemoglobin type A1C (HbA1c), insulin resistance (IR), fat oxidation (FatOx), body weight (BW), percent body fat (%BF), lactate threshold (LT), blood pressure (BP), and blood lipid profile (BLP) among persons with T2D. Results were compared to the effects after a moderate-intensity training (MIT) program.
Thirty-eight individuals with T2D completed 12 weeks of supervised training. HAIT consisted of 4 × 4 min of walking or running uphill at 85–95% of maximal heart rate, and MIT consisted of continuous walking at 70–75% of maximal heart rate.
A 21% increase in VO2max (from 25.6 to 30.9 ml kg−1 min−1, p < 0.001), and a reduction in HbA1c by −0.58% points (from 7.78 to 7.20%, p < 0.001) was found in HAIT. BW and body mass index (BMI) was reduced by 1.9% (p < 0.01). There was a tendency towards an improved FatOx at 60% VO2max (14%, p = 0.065). These improvements were significant different from MIT. Both HAIT and MIT increased velocity at LT, and reduced %BF, waist circumference, hip circumference, and BP, with no significant differences between the two groups. Correlations were found between change in VO2max and change in HbA1c when the two intervention groups were combined (R = −0.52, p < 0.01).
HAIT is an effective exercise strategy to improve aerobic fitness and reduce risk factors associated with T2D.
KeywordsExercise intensity Interval training Maximal oxygen uptake HbA1c Fat oxidation
Percent body fat
Body mass index
Blood lipid profile
Coefficient of variance
High-intensity aerobic interval training
Glycated hemoglobin type A1C
Homeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance index
Maximal heart rate
Peak heart rate
Blood lactate concentration
Moderate-intensity continuous training
Respiratory exchange ratio
Type 2 diabetes
Total energy intake
Volume of carbon dioxide
Maximal oxygen uptake
We want to acknowledge the cooperation with Mid-Telemark Health Community (Midt-Telemarkraadet) in this project. A special thanks to Jørund Verpe for contributing in the planning phase of the study, Kristin Bøen and Ingunn Stavsholt for assisting in the recruitment face of the project as well as conducting motivational conversations with the participants, and Hans Torvild Kittilsen for assisting during exercise testing.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
There is no conflict of interest.
No external funding was received from any organizations in this project.
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