If you get a glucose spike notification from Signos, or you know you ate a high-glycemic meal or snack and can feel the extra sugar coursing through your blood, amping you up, take a 10-minute exercise break. Our full-body workout video demonstrates a quick, effective total-body circuit that can help lower that glucose spike and bring your blood sugar back down.
Research shows that short, intense bouts of exercise can stabilize glucose levels and may even decrease waist circumference<sup>1</sup>—a clinical way of saying flatten your belly. During intense exercise, where effort is 80% of VO2 max (VO2 max is the amount of oxygen your body can use in one minute per kilogram of your body weight), glucose production rises eight-fold higher than at rest, and the amount of glucose you use increases four times higher. Your takeaway: short bursts of exercise at a high intensity can burn extra glucose effectively.
Even for those who may have impaired glucose tolerance, circuit training increases insulin sensitivity. Circuit training often combines resistance and cardio exercises, but can also include a boot camp-style setup of resistance exercises done in a way that keeps your heart rate up.
One small study that compared circuit-style training with aerobic endurance exercise in those with impaired glucose tolerance found that the circuit resistance workouts increased insulin sensitivity by 23%<sup>2</sup>.
Full Body Workout: 10-Minute Circuit
Burn excess glucose, lower a glucose spike, stabilize blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity... all in 10 minutes? Yup.
This full-body workout is completed circuit style and doesn't require any weights or equipment. Just bring that (glucose) energy and a can-do mindset.
Prime your body to move with a five-minute warm-up of marching in place, climbing stairs at an easy pace, cycling, or walking at a comfortable effort. Get ready to move quickly and intensely, but keep your eye on the prize: It'll be over before you know it. When you're done, walk slowly around the room, yard, park, or sidewalk to catch your breath and cool down.
The full-body workout includes:
- 10x5x10 format: 10 minutes of five exercises for 10 reps. Try to move from one exercise to the next with no rest or a 20- to 30-second rest between moves. Rest for 30-60 seconds at the end of each cycle of five exercises before starting at the top again. Repeat the circuit until you reach 10 minutes total.
- Exercise 1: Squats x10 reps
- Exercise 2: Jumping jacks x10 reps
- Exercise 3: Plank hip dips x10 reps
- Exercise 4: Mountain climbers x10 reps
- Exercise 5: Push-ups x10 reps
To modify this workout, follow the taller lovely lady on the right (in the blue) in the video. You can:
- Allow for more recovery: Rest before transitioning to the next exercise. Rest for a full 60 seconds between each cycle of five exercises.
- Exercise 1: Lower halfway in the squat. Make sure your knees don't go past your toes when you bend.
- Exercise 2: Move your right foot out to the side while you circle your arms overhead. Don't jump. Then, move your left foot out to the side while you circle your amrs overhead. Repeat until you get to 10.
- Exercise 3: Hold a plank without dipping your hips. Either hold the plank with your arms straight (not resting on your foreams) or with you arms straight and knees bent.
- Exercise 4: Remove the "sprinting" motion, or the rapid bending of your knees. Instead, move each knee toward your chest slowly.
- Exercise 5: Rest your knees on the ground during the push-ups.
<p class="pro-tip"><strong>Learn more about </strong> <a href="/blog/metabolic-advantages-of-cardio">how cardio can improve metabolic health</a>.</p>
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