Daily physical activity is part of the treatment for diabetes. But how long and how often? Contrary to popular belief, researchers recommend that the people concerned favor short but intense sessions on a very regular basis.

Several studies have shown that spending less time sitting and exercising more reduces the risk of heart disease in all people, not just those with diabetes. But this recommendation is all the more important for diabetics, whose treatment consists in the first place of modifying their lifestyle with a healthy and balanced diet, and the practice of physical activity in order to normalize the level of sugar in the blood. blood to avoid complications. Thus, "various activities are possible by taking some precautions to avoid the risk of hypoglycemia (drop in the level of glucose in the blood)," explains Health Insurance.

Short and frequent exercise sessions may be better for blood vessels in diabetic patients than longer and fewer workouts, according to a new study by researchers at the Australian Catholic University. A habit that would also reduce the risk of heart disease because diabetes can cause cardiovascular complications (heart, vascular or arterial disorders) by damaging the large blood vessels (arteries in the neck, legs, heart, etc.) . Complications of the heart and arteries are two to three times more common in diabetics than in the rest of the population.

The importance of not sitting still throughout the day

“With rapidly advancing technologies in workplaces, transportation and the home, this creates many contexts in everyday life that are conducive to prolonged sitting. “, Underline the researchers who recall the finding of a report recently published by the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology. They compared how the blood flow and dilated blood vessels in obese adults with type 2 diabetes responded to shorter (no more than ten minutes) but more frequent exercise sessions or, 'reverse, to longer but less frequent sessions.

In a first test, participants had to remain seated for eight hours without taking any breaks to exercise. In a second test, they took breaks by doing three minutes of physical exercise including squats and leg lifts every 30 minutes and in a third test, they took breaks to do six minutes of exercise every 30 minutes. hours. The results showed that blood vessel function tended to improve with both approaches to physical exercise compared to uninterrupted sitting. However, this improved much more with the approach of exercising every 30 minutes.

What are the recommendations?

“This finding suggests that the frequency of physical activity may be more important than its duration. “, Say the researchers. The latter believe that their discovery is important given that the function of blood vessels deteriorates as type 2 diabetes progresses in the patient: more frequent interruptions from a sitting position would help to preserve blood flow to the legs. . “According to our results, more frequent and shorter breaks may be more beneficial than longer, less frequent breaks in improving vascular function in people with type 2 diabetes.” They conclude.

Note that according to the French Federation of Diabetics, "physical activity is beneficial at any age in people with diabetes. It is preferable to distribute the physical expenditure over the whole week by varying the type of effort (endurance and strengthening), the frequency, the duration and the nature of the activity practiced. The body insists on regularity, which is why the ideal is to do it every day, but it is also possible to supplement your daily physical activity with more intense activity on the weekends. If you resume physical activity, it is essential to talk to your attending physician or diabetologist in order to perform the aptitude tests necessary for safe practice.