HIT improves aerobic capacity without a detrimental decline in blood glucose in people with type 1 diabetes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Sam N Scott
  • Matt Cocks
  • Rob C Andrews
  • Tejpal S Purewal
  • Daniel J Cuthbertson
  • Anton J M Wagenmakers
  • Sam O Shepherd

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust, Liverpool L7 8XP, UK.
  • University of Liverpool


AIMS: To investigate whether 1) six weeks of high-intensity interval training (HIT) induces similar improvements in cardio-metabolic health markers as moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) in people with type 1 diabetes, and 2) whether HIT abolishes acute reductions in plasma glucose observed following MICT sessions.

METHODS: Fourteen sedentary individuals with type 1 diabetes (n=7 per group) completed six weeks of HIT or MICT 3 times per week. Pre- and post-training measurements were made of 24h interstitial glucose profiles (using continuous glucose monitors (CGMS)) and cardio-metabolic health markers (V˙O2peak, blood lipid profile and aortic pulse wave velocity; aPWV). Capillary blood glucose concentrations were assessed before and after exercise sessions throughout the training programme to investigate changes in blood glucose during exercise in the fed state.

RESULTS: Six weeks of HIT or MICT increased V˙O2peak by 14% and 15%, respectively (P<0.001), and aPWV by 12% (P<0.001), with no difference between groups. 24h CGMS data revealed no differences in incidence or percentage of time spent in hypoglycaemia following training in either group (P>0.05). In the fed state, the mean change in capillary blood glucose concentration during the HIT sessions was -0.2±0.5 mmol/L, whereas blood glucose change was -5.5±0.4 mmol/L during MICT.

CONCLUSIONS: Six weeks of HIT improved V˙O2peak and aortic PWV to a similar extent as MICT. The finding that blood glucose remained stable during HIT in the fed state, but consistently fell during MICT, suggests that HIT may be the preferred training mode for some people with type 1 diabetes.


Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Early online date2 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Oct 2018