I've found a number of studies showing that diet and exercise improves insulin resistance and mortality. However, these studies are over some years. (e.g. Exercise as medicine)

For hypertension, there are studies showing various lifestyle changes can result in lowering blood pressure measurably in 4 weeks.

Are there similar studies that show interventions (e.g. diet control, exercise) improves, say fasting blood sugar levels in short periods of time? (weeks not years)

Or to put it another way, what kinds of interventions causes the fastest improvements measurable diabetic risk factors (backed by studies)?

1 Answer 1


I only looked for studies on the effect of exercise, there may be more in regards to dietary changes.

The impact of brief high-intensity exercise on blood glucose levels is a review article analysing several articles on this subject, with studies in both patients with and without diabetes.

One looked at two weeks of exercise:

Two weeks of sprint interval training increased insulin sensitivity up to 3 days postintervention

Original study: Short-term sprint interval training increases insulin sensitivity in healthy adults but does not affect the thermogenic response to beta-adrenergic stimulation

Others looked at single training sessions of high intensity interval training (HIIT):

low volume SIT with as little as 7.5 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week may be a time-efficient exercise strategy to help control blood glucose in diabetic patients and improve insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic adults.

However, this is a brief effect:

it is [...] uncertain if any improvements in blood glucose achieved by a brief intervention would be sustained over a longer period

But there does seem to be a short-term effect for training at high intensities that does not need to be sustained for long - typical exercise duration in these studies was a couple of sprints at a few minutes of high intensity training per session plus warm up.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.