Is HIIT Exercise a Good Option for Diabetes?

  • 3 Minutes Read

Is HIIT exercise a good option for you? Learn about the basics of HIIT and whether or not it is appropriate for those with diabetes.

Is HIIT Exercise a Good Option for Diabetes?

Is HIIT Exercise a Good Option?

When I talk about high intensity interval training (HIIT) with people, I find that some are already using it as part of their fitness regimen, and others have no idea what I am talking about. Fitness centers have been incorporating it into their classes, and fitness trainers are using it when designing personalized fitness plans. In fact, if you work out, you may be doing a form of HIIT without even realizing it. It has become increasingly popular as a workout option. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, read on to determine if it is a safe and effective fit for you?

What is HIIT?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), HIIT is a type of training that "involves repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times."


Benefits of HIIT

Shorter periods of intense exercise can be a time-saver, appealing to those with busy days. According to the CDC, lack of time is the most commonly reported barrier to regular exercise.

Physical benefits of vigorous exercise when compared to moderate exercise include:

Applying HIIT Exercise

HIIT Exercise for Diabetes and Prediabetes

Heart disease is the number one complication of diabetes. This makes HIIT exercise appealing for persons with diabetes and pre-diabetes because vigorous exercise has superior heart health benefits. On the other hand, you need to be smart about following precautions for vigorous exercise, and make sure it is safe for you.

Bottom Line about HIIT and Diabetes

Exercise is a cornerstone of diabetes management and is essential for preventing or delaying the chronic complications of diabetes. Regular exercise (in addition to weight loss) is also the most effective way to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Exercise science is showing that vigorous exercise often has superior physical benefits to moderate exercise. Applying HIIT exercise for diabetes requires personalizing the plan according to your own fitness level and health history. You can then reap the benefits of vigorous exercise while being mindful of your own health status.


Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2016

Diabetes->Health Exercise->Health
Apr 17, 2018
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

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