Taking a HIT for health

Our sports science researchers are investigating the health benefits of high intensity training (HIT).

Exercise can help to reduce body fat and it can also make fat within the body ‘healthier’. In overweight and obese individuals, inflammation in fat and blood is increased, which can be harmful to the body and lead to diabetes. This inflammation can be reduced with exercise – a challenge for our time-poor society. 

High intensity interval training (HIT) has received worldwide attention in recent years. It’s been associated with health benefits in both healthy and patient populations, including a reduction in the risk of developing diabetes. 

Research by sports scientist Dr Melanie Leggate has shown that two weeks of HIT, including 10x4 minute intervals cycling at maximal physical activity separated by two minutes rest, can reduce waist circumference and inflammation in fat. It can also increase physical fitness in overweight and obese individuals. 

She is now investigating if we can still get these health benefits with interval training which has a lower time commitment. 

We will focus on the relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and insulin resistance, as obesity and diabetes are associated with low Vitamin D levels,” said Dr Melanie Leggate. “We are now looking to investigate what effect both Vitamin D supplementation and exercise training will have on controlling blood glucose in obese individuals.” 

Interested in this project? Contact Dr Melanie Leggate