When Sherri Shepherd, former co-host of "The View," was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, she promptly modified her diet and started doing short bursts of lower body exercise.
"Those squats are trying to take me out!" she told Parade magazine.
Shepherd's commitment to blasts of exercise appears to be the right prescription for her condition. A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology found that people with Type 2 diabetes benefit significantly from short, frequent sessions of leg-centered resistance activities — especially if those people are typically sedentary or have desk-bound jobs.
The researchers tested femoral blood flow and blood pressure of 24 obese adults with Type 2 diabetes after three seven-hour sessions.
In the first one, the participants ages 35 to 70 sat all day with no breaks for exercise. In the second, every 30 minutes the participants did three minutes of exercises that included squats, leg lifts, and calf raises. In the third, they took a six-minute exercise break every 60 minutes to do those same exercises.
Blood vessel dilation and blood flow improved significantly with intermittent exercise.
The surprise was that the best results came from just three minutes of effort every half hour — cutting the risk for cardiovascular events by around 18%.
It seems that just 180 seconds of movements that engages large muscles in the lower body (glutes, quads, calves) every 30 minutes is your ticket to reducing vascular impairment if you have Type 2 diabetes.