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Diabetes Care. 2005 Jun;28(6):1289-94.

The decline in blood glucose levels is less with intermittent high-intensity compared with moderate exercise in individuals with type 1 diabetes.

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School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy., Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia.



To compare the response of blood glucose levels to intermittent high-intensity exercise (IHE) and moderate-intensity exercise (MOD) in individuals with type 1 diabetes.


Seven healthy individuals with type 1 diabetes were tested on two separate occasions, during which either a 30-min MOD or IHE protocol was performed. MOD consisted of continuous exercise at 40% Vo(2peak), while the IHE protocol involved a combination of continuous exercise at 40% Vo(2peak) interspersed with 4-s sprints performed every 2 min to simulate the activity patterns of team sports.


Both exercise protocols resulted in a decline in blood glucose levels. However, the decline was greater with MOD (-4.4 +/- 1.2 mmol/l) compared with IHE (-2.9 +/- 0.8 mmol/l; P < 0.05), despite the performance of a greater amount of total work with IHE (P < 0.05). During 60 min of recovery from exercise, glucose levels remained higher in IHE compared with MOD (P < 0.05). Furthermore, glucose levels remained stable during recovery from IHE, while they continued to decrease after MOD (P < 0.05). The stabilization of blood glucose levels with IHE was associated with elevated levels of lactate, catecholamines, and growth hormone during early recovery from exercise (P < 0.05). There were no differences in free insulin, glucagon, cortisol, or free fatty acids between MOD and IHE.


The decline in blood glucose levels is less with IHE compared with MOD during both exercise and recovery in individuals with type 1 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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