Exercise Intensity and Impaired/Improved Glucose Tolerance

Exercise training in the aerobic/anaerobic metabolic transition prevents glucose intolerance in alloxan-treated rats

BioMed Central recently published research on rats who were given impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). The results determined that rats who exercised an hour a day at the aerobic/anaerobic threshold (determined in the rats by blood lactate levels; in humans it’s usually somewhere at 80-85% maximum heart rate) had improved glucose tolerance over their “couch potato” controls – about as good glucose tolerance as their normal counterparts.

This is interesting in apposition to the current saws that “any exercise is good exercise” and “moderate exercise is sufficient to improve glycemic control”. Is it that any exercise is good exercise, and these rats were potentially overexercised, or that we really do need (5 @ 1 hr)/wk at 80% max heart rate, plus (3 @ .5 hr)/wk intense strength training to maintain minimum physical fitness and optimum glycemic control, but our “pundits” are watering things down to make any movement appealing to the “couch potato set”?