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If you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you face a multitude of health dangers on a daily basis from blindness to amputation and kidney failure.
But, the number one risk you face due to your blood sugar problems is heart disease. In fact, according to the American Heart Association having diabetes doubles your risk of heart disease and a whopping 65 percent of people with the disease die from heart disease or stroke.
Those are downright scary statistics.
The effect diabetes has on your heart
The reason that diabetes is so dangerous for your heart is pretty simple…
Over time, having high blood sugar actually damages both your blood vessels and the nerves that are responsible for keeping your heart beating.
The longer you live with the disease and the less controlled your blood sugar, the higher your risk of ending up with heart problems as well.
Luckily, a brand new study by researchers at the University of Otago to protecting your heart from the damage caused by blood sugar problems, without any necessary changes in your medication or diet.
Reduce or reverse the loss of heart function caused by high blood sugar
The researchers set out with one idea in mind – that boosting your aerobic capacity through exercise is the best prevention for heart disease and a cornerstone in diabetic treatment.
Because of this, they decided to test the effects of incorporating high-intensity interval training or HIIT on heart function in patients with diabetes. HIIT involves short intervals of all-out exercise (>90 percent of your maximal effort) using options like sprinting or stair climbing, separated by intervals of moderate intensity exercise, like jogging, or fast walking.
The team’s goal was for people to spend 10 minutes doing very high-intensity activity during a 25 minute exercise period.
But, since problems with a diabetic heart often make it harder for people with blood sugar problems to exercise effectively they weren’t sure if this type of exercise would actually be a viable option.
However, the results were stellar…
Not only were the participants in the exercise program able to perform HIIT safely, but 80 percent also stuck with it over a three-month timeframe.
Even better, for those who didn’t give up, HIIT improved their heart function, with no special diets or medications necessary.
“Our research has found that exercise at sufficiently high intensity may provide an inexpensive, practical way to reverse, or reduce the loss in heart function caused by type 2 diabetes,” said researcher and former Ph.D. student Genevieve Wilson.
HIIT for better heart function
So, if you have diabetes HIIT could be the answer to protecting your heart and preventing cardiovascular disease.
For three easy options for performing HIIT, check out this article on “Why Smart Interval Training is the Smartest Thing You Can Do”. And, if you’d like to hit the pool for better heart function, here’s how to combine HIIT with water resistance.
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!
- Heart Disease and Diabetes — WebMD
- Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke — National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- High-intensity exercise may restore heart function in people with type 2 diabetes — EurekAlert!