Orginally published on the MedFitness Network
What is HIIT and Its Benefits for Those with Type 2 Diabetes?So, you’ve heard the buzz in the media about HIIT, its impact on weight loss and cardiovascular benefits and are wondering, could HIIT be for me? As a diabetic, someone with insulin resistance or one at high risk for either, you have likely heard the benefits of exercise, its impact on your blood sugar, and how your weight plays a role in all of it. However, you may be wondering is this safe? What should I do? How do I get started? What should I know?
There are four huge reasons to incorporate HIIT into your regimen (assuming you’re cleared by your physician).
Let’s Talk About IntensityIntensity refers to the level of exertion of the heart. Vigorous/High intensity can be defined as activity that is at 6 or more METs (metabolic equivalents).8 However, this definition is not practical for the everyday participant. A more practical way of identifying the level of intensity that you’re working at is illustrated below:
However, to be clear HIIT training is not appropriate for everyone, and if any doubts remain be sure to contact your physician. The American Diabetes Association recommends a 12-point electrocardiogram be performed on those with type II diabetes prior to beginning a vigorous training program, and while HIIT is not a prolonged vigorous training regimen, you should consult with your physician as a precaution.7
What Programs are Appropriate for You?While some critics of HIIT argue that the high intensity increases participant dropout rates, the truth is you won’t know if it’s enjoyable or even tolerable unless you give it a try. Additionally, you may not like one HIIT program, but may find you like another. In all cases, it is recommended that you start at either a moderate or light intensity gradually increasing to higher intensities over time.8
What should I be aware of when undergoing a HIIT programSpecific to type II diabetes, you should be aware of:
Jeremy Kring holds a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from the California University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University. He is a college instructor where he teaches the science of exercise and personal training. He is a certified and practicing personal/fitness trainer, and got his start in the field of fitness training in the United States Marine Corps in 1998. You can visit his website at jumping-jacs.com