The post-exercise, intervention test results show significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and heart disease risk factors. The CrossFit™ program significantly reduced fat mass, diastolic blood pressure, blood lipids (triglyceride and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), and metabolic syndrome score. In addition, increased basal fat oxidation increased as did adiponectin. Importantly, the exercise program also increased insulin sensitivity. Increases in adiponectin and fat oxidation, the authors stated, correlated with the change in insulin sensitivity.
Virtually all (>95%) of the patients were compliant with the exercise program and no injuries or adverse events were reported.
The researchers noted the study population was small and the duration of the exercise intervention was short. Also, the patients were relatively young, and therefore they caution against applying the results to more elderly patients with T2DM. However, the results pave the way for larger studies to assess the efficacy, feasibility, and durability of high-intensity exercise to help moderate insulin resistance.
The exercise program, “provides promise to those who may be pessimistic about the possibilities of these types of interventions,” said Kirwan.
Kirwan JP, Fealy CE, Nieuwoudt S, et al. Functional high intensity exercise training ameliorates insulin resistance and cardiometabolic risk factors in type 2 diabetes. Exp Physiol. 2018.