To compare the effect of a low-volume walking high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on risk of cardiovascular diseases and physical capacity in older women with type 2 diabetes (T2D).
Thirty inactive older women with T2D were randomized into either HIIT (75 min/week) or MICT (150 min/week). Cardiovascular risk profile (lipid profile; waist circumference and fat mass; resting, post-exercise and ambulatory blood pressure [BP]; VO peak; UKPDS score; ABC’s) and physical capacity were assessed before and after a 12-week intervention.
While resting systolic and diastolic BP (all p ≤ 0.01) were reduced, ambulatory BP (p ≥ 0.49) and lipid profile (p ≥ 0.40) remained unchanged after the intervention. Although VO peak increased to a similar extent in both groups (p = 0.015), the distance covered during the 6MWT (p = 0.01) and grip strength (p = 0.02) increased to a greater extend in HIIT. The UKPDS risk score decreased in both groups after the intervention (p = 0.03) and 31% of the participants reached the ABC’s compared to 24% at baseline.
Low-volume walking HIIT is an efficient exercise intervention for older women with T2D as it improved some CVD risk factors and physical capacity. Nevertheless, neither low-volume HIIT nor MICT is sufficient to affect ambulatory blood pressure in T2D patients.

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