Research Alert

Exercise is well-known to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like hypertension, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. While moderate-intensity continuous exercise (END) has traditionally been recommended to achieve these meaningful benefits, the time-effective alternative of sprint interval training (SIT) has recently gained popularity. However, many benefits of exercise, such as improving blood pressure and blood sugar, are short-term following a single exercise bout. While END is conducive to daily sessions, it is not recommended to perform SIT every day due to its high-intensity nature. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the ability of high-frequency END (30-40 min, five days per week) or low-frequency SIT (4-6 x 30 sec, three days per week), to improve health in overweight males. Before and after six weeks of training, health parameters were assessed. Researchers found that both types of exercise improved fitness and blood sugar control. However, only high-frequency END improved blood pressure and decreased body fat. Blood sugar control in everyday living was better on days which participants exercised, further highlighting the importance of regular exercise. These findings suggest that while all exercise is good, frequency of exposure is important to consider when designing an exercise program for achieving health benefits.

Journal Link: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, June-2021