Insight 11 - June 2014 - page 10

08
N
ew researchpublished recently in
theEuropean journal
Diabetologia
demonstrates thatbrief, snack-sized
burstsof intenseexercisebeforemealshelp
control blood sugar in individualswith insulin
resistancemoreeffectively thanonedaily
30-minute sessionofmoderateexercise.
The research, conductedbya team from the
UniversityofOtago inNewZealand includes
Professor JohnHawley fromACU’sFacultyof
HealthSciences.
ProfessorHawleyandhis colleagues
conducted trialswithnine individuals (two
womenand sevenmen)whocompleted three
separateexercise sessions, lasting12minutes
each.Theirblood sugar levelswere tracked
beforeandafter theexercise sessionsand into
thenextday.
Individualswerefirst asked towalkona
treadmill for 30minutes, finishinghalf an
hourbeforedinner. For the second session
(conductedona separateday), participants
undertook three shorthigh-intensity
exercise sessions (termed ‘exercise snacks’)
beforebreakfast, lunchanddinner. Ina third
session, volunteers completedwalking tasks,
interspersedwithaminuteof high-intensity
upperbody resistance trainingbeforeeach
meal.
“The resultswere striking,”saidProfessor
Hawley.“Weknow that exercisehelpspeople
regulate theirblood sugar –we saw in thefirst
session that volunteers’blood sugar levels
were lower than thebase line. Butwe saw
dramaticdifferenceswith the two snack-sized
workouts too.Volunteers’blood sugar levels
were reduceddramaticallyand theeffects
werevisible throughout thedayand for 24
hoursafterwards.”
ProfessorHawley said that this study ispart
of agrowingbodyof researchwhich supports
the idea thatbreakingupworkouts into
repeated, shorter sessionsmightbemore
beneficial than longer, continuous sessions.
He says that this is something that everyone
candoand that“time isnownot avalidexcuse
fornot exercising.”
“This studygivesavery simplemessage. It
showsus that exercise snackingcan really
makeadifference toyourhealth. It’s realistic
andachievable.Youdon’tneed togo toagym
oruse special equipment andcanfit it into
yourday.Youcouldclimb sixflightsof stairs
before lunch, for example. It’sa small time
investment for long-termbenefits.”
Diabetologia
is the journal of theEuropean
Association for theStudyofDiabetes.
Photography : (Top)Bigstock/OlgaChirkova (Bottom) istock/ lzf
SPRINTBEFORE
YOUSNACK
T
hiswinter,DrDuncanCook,National
School ofArts,will completefieldwork in
the savannahsand swampsof northwest
Belizeaspartof an international research
collaboration investigating the role that
climatechangeplayed in theMayacollapse
acrossCentral America1,000yearsago.
This research, incollaborationwith the
UniversityofTexas,will examine the
landscapes immediately surroundingMaya
sites suchasBlueCreekandLamanai.
“We’rehoping togain insights intohow the
Mayaheresurvived, andeven thrived,during
theperiodsofprolongeddrought thatmost
scholarsbelievebroughtabout the rapid
declineof theMayaafter900AD,”saidDrCook.
“Thefieldworkwill involve thefieldanalysis
andmappingof soilsand landscapesmodified
by theMaya inantiquity, and thecollectionof
sediment coresandcavedeposits fordetailed
paleaoenvironmental analysisbackatACUand
theUniversityofTexas.”
DIDCLIMATECHANGECAUSETHEMAYANCOLLAPSE?
The research is fundedbyanACUEarly
ResearcherAward (2014) andaNational
ScienceFoundation (NSF) grant toACU
HonoraryProfessorTimBeach.
DrCookplans toblog live from the jungle
duringhis trip todetail how thefieldwork is
conductedand report any interestingfinds.
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