Optimisation of Exercise Intensity during High-Intensity Interval Training for Glucose Control in Prediabetes

Project Leaders: Cerin Brain, Dr Rhys Thatcher & Dr Federico Villagra Povina
Co-Investigators: Dr Otar Akanyeti & Dr Donogh McKeogh

We will soon begin recruiting participants for the study titled above. Recruitment criteria includes diagnosed prediabetic males, aged over 18 years old, who are not currently active and have no cardiovascular or respiratory problems. This study is looking at the effects of altering the intensity of high-intensity interval training, to measure the effects on glucose control following the trial.

Exercise improves blood sugar levels for people with diabetes, it could also help reduce the number of people who develop the condition. A type of exercise that is becoming popular is High-Intensity Interval Training, known as HIIT. While we know a lot about how the body responds to HIIT in people without a long-term medical condition, we do not know much about the benefits of HIIT for people at risk of diabetes.

HIIT is an intense exercise that involves doing hard exercise followed by easy exercise, each for about one minute; this is repeated to give a 20 – 25 minute exercise session. This study will look at how difficult the ‘hard’ exercise has to be to get the best results for people at risk of diabetes. This is done by measuring the effect of the different intensity of exercise on how quickly glucose levels are able to fall following a sugary drink. The faster glucose levels are able to fall following the sugary drink and an exercise bout the better the exercise intensity is for that person.

There will be three different conditions of exercise during this study, each of which will be repeated on two different occasions. The conditions are:

  • Exercising at high intensity intervals on a stationary exercise bike
  • Exercising at moderate intensity intervals on a stationary exercise bike
  • Rest visits, participants will sit in the laboratory for 29 minutes

We will measure glucose levels continuously through a patch that will stick to the arm and measure the glucose through a filament, which will sit under the skin; this will remain in place for 28 days. We will measure blood glucose, cholesterol and insulin over the course of the study by taking nine blood samples, spread across the five to eight weeks of the study, from a vein in the arm. Additionally, we will provide participants with five free meals per trial, in which there are six trials.

If you would like more information regarding the study, please contact Cerin Brain via email (ceb20@aber.ac.uk) or phone (01970622109) to request a copy of the participant information sheet.

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