Type 2 diabetes is currently a worldwide epidemic affecting 463 million adults that is projected to worsen. This is particularly troublesome given that heart disease death rates are two to four times higher in those with type 2 diabetes compared to those without the metabolic condition. However, exercise can be a powerful remedy for individuals struggling with type 2 diabetes!
Exercise benefits for Type 2 Diabetes
Individuals with type 2 diabetes who exercise regularly are likely to experience numerous benefits, including increased insulin sensitivity, decreased hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) and reduced insulin requirements. Chronic aerobic training over two to 12 months has been reported to decrease HbA1C levels by 0.6 percent. This reduction is clinically significant for individuals with type 2 diabetes and has been linked with a 22-percent reduction in microvascular complications and an 8-percent reduction in the rate of heart attacks. In nondiabetics, regular exercise also provides important benefits in terms of maintaining normal insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control. For example, it has been reported that two months of aerobic exercise training reduces fasting blood glucose levels by 6 points.
CAR.O.L for Diabetes
Over the last few years, our laboratory has studied how time-efficient and personalized exercise with CAR.O.L can reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes:
In one study, we compared blood glucose changes following both CAR.O.L intense and fat burn rides to traditional workouts adhering to the public health physical activity recommendation of 30min of moderate-intensity treadmill exercise. We had a cohort of 28 men and women train for eight weeks following either CAR.O.L workouts three to four days per week or moderate-intensity treadmill exercise for 30 minutes on five days per week. Blood glucose reductions were 50 percent more pronounced with CAR.O.L!
In a second study, we showed that after just three weeks of three CAR.O.L intense rides per week, HbA1c levels were reduced by a whopping 0.31 percent in a previously inactive and sedentary cohort of pre-diabetic individuals.