Is a walk better than a gym session?

A La Trobe University researcher is calling for Bendigo volunteers in a bid to uncover how much exercise we need to guard against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Exercise physiologist Dr Victoria Wyckelsma is investigating different exercise prescriptions health professionals could recommend to busy people.

"We are firstly looking at the minimum amount of exercise needed to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels," she said.

"And more importantly, we are asking whether it is better for you to exercise for half an hour in one session or take low-intensity strolls after every meal, when your blood-sugar levels peak."

"Not everyone has time to go to the gym, so it's critical that health experts can recommend practical exercise options that can help prevent problems later down the track."

Dr Wyckelsma said people with consistently high blood-sugar levels are more likely to develop health complications such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in later life.

For the first stage of her study Dr Wyckelsma needs men aged between 18 and 55 who do little or no physical exercise, are non-smokers and have no personal history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"This part of the study will help us find out the optimum intensity of exercise for regulating the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood stream after a meal. We'll also look at blood-sugar levels two days after exercise."

Over three weeks volunteers will undertake a fitness assessment as well as three different work-out sessions consisting of high, moderate and low-intensity exercise. 

Participants will be able to do the exercise sessions before work.

"Later in the year our study will look at how frequent that exercise needs to be and how much we actually need to do."

Anyone who is interested should contact Dr Wyckelsma.

Dr Wyckelsma is the inaugural Holsworth Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Exercise Physiology at La Trobe University Bendigo, which is supported by the Bendigo Tertiary Education Anniversary Fund and the University's Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation research focus area.

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