Different Groups Respond Differently to Exercise

By Ryan Halvorson
Dec 10, 2015

Here’s more proof that we all tolerate exercise differently. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have discovered that individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes must exercise more intensely than nonrisk individuals to achieve similar benefits.

The study featured 50 “unfit,” slightly overweight men around 40 years of age. Half of the participants were placed in a “risk” group—meaning they were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, because an immediate relative had it. Control group participants had no such relative with the disease.

Each individual was offered three exercise sessions per week—an indoor cycling class and two “aerobics” classes—for 7 months. Before and after each session, the men underwent medical examinations and glucose testing. They also had their exercise intensity and food intake measured.

By the end, all subjects had made similar improvements in weight, waist size and overall fitness level. However, the risk group attended more sessions and generally exercised much harder than the nonrisk group to achieve those results.

Ola Hansson, PhD, associate professor at the university and lead study author, was intrigued: “It is interest-
ing to see that there is a difference despite the fact that all of them are actually healthy and otherwise very similar,” he noted. “We now hope to continue with further studies, including examining whether exercise intensity rather than volume is a crucial factor in determining how the risk group responds to exercise.”

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Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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