Background: Regular exercise improves glycemic control and reduces cardiovascular risk
and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes. Continuous moderate- to high-intensity exercise has
been recommended to manage type 2 diabetes; however, only approximately 30% of diabetic patients
achieve the recommended levels of physical activity. The reasons for not engaging in regular exercise
vary; however, one of the common reasons is lack of time. Recently, the effectiveness of shortduration
interval exercise such as high-intensity interval training and interval walking has been observed.
Thus, the author aimed to summarize the current knowledge and discuss recent literature regarding
the effects of interval exercise therapy in type 2 diabetes.
Methods: The author searched the English literature on interval training and type 2 diabetes using Pub-
Med. A total of 8 studies met the criteria.
Results: Interval exercise is feasible and effective in obtaining glycemic control in patients with type 2
diabetes. It may also improve body composition, insulin sensitivity, aerobic capacity, and oxidative
stress more effectively than continuous exercise.
Conclusion: As a novel exercise therapy, interval training appears to be effective in managing type 2
diabetes. However, the safety and efficacy of this exercise modality in patients with progressed diabetic
complications or a history of cardiovascular disease and in extremely older individuals remain
unknown. Additionally, there is considerable heterogeneity in exercise interventions (intensity and duration)
between clinical studies. Further studies are needed.