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Can 30 minutes of fitness a week reduce your risk of diabetes?

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A new study will explore whether just 30 minutes of exercise a week can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Scientists at Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham are embarking on a research programme to find out whether high intensity interval training (HIIT) better controls blood sugar levels.

People who are overweight and inactive are most at risk of becoming insulin resistant, which increases the body’s blood sugar (blood glucose) levels and can ultimately lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

High intensity interval training, which is characterised by short bursts of intense exercise interspersed with periods of rest, has been shown to deliver striking health benefits (including improvements to insulin sensitivity) in as little as two to six weeks.

A team of university researchers want to explore HIIT’s benefits further, in particular its impact on insulin action in tissues including the liver and fat.

Loughborough researcher Ms Zainab Amir explains:

“Previous studies have shown diet and exercise can improve insulin action in some parts of the body, but little is known about the most effective types of exercise to achieve this. 

“Our study is unique because it’s looking specifically at HIIT’s impact on the liver.

“If we can show HIIT has the potential to better control blood sugar levels, this short form of exercise could play an important role in stopping the onset of Type 2 Diabetes and reducing the disease’s financial burden on the NHS.”

Researchers are looking for non-smoking men aged 30-50 with a body mass index of over 30 and no history of chronic disease (such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease) to take part in this study.

Participants will be required to undertake a series of medical and fitness tests and make multiple visits to both the University of Nottingham and Loughborough University. Travel expenses will be covered and volunteers will receive a detailed health screening, a full personal fitness assessment and supervised training sessions. 

To find out more or to register your interest contact Zainab Amir on z.amir@lboro.ac.uk or 01509 226 352.