Other Subject Area

Cardiovascular Health, Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), Glycemic Health, Obese, Overweight, Vasoconstriction, Vasodilation


International Journal of Exercise Science 14(3): 1334-1353, 2021. The state of being overweight or obese leads to an increased risk of development of cardiometabolic disease. Increases in glycemic variability have been associated with greater induction of oxidative stress and declined vascular health, which may be exacerbated by higher weight status and improved through exercise. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a twelve-week aerobic exercise intervention on continuous glucose monitor (CGM) assessed glucose concentrations and glycemic variability, and biomarkers of vascular health and oxidative stress in overweight or obese adults. Eight adults (Age = 48.9 ± 5.2 years; BMI = 29.4 ± 8.3 kg/m2) completed a twelve-week aerobic exercise intervention. Participants walked three times per week at moderate intensity for ~150 minutes each week. All participants wore a CGM for seven consecutive days at baseline and post-intervention. On the final day of monitoring, a fasting blood sample was collected, and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed. Intra- and inter-day glycemic variability was assessed as the mean amplitude of glycemic excursions, continuous overlapping net glycemic action of one-, two-, and four-hour, and the mean observation of daily differences. Plasma concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) were measured, and their ratio was calculated (NO:MPO). No CGM-assessed glucose concentrations or measures of glycemic variability changed from baseline to post-intervention. MPO concentration decreased (24.8 ± 8.2 ng/mL to 16.4 ± 4.6 ng/mL, p < 0.01), the NO:MPO ratio improved (3.5:1 to 6.4:1, p < 0.01) following the twelve-week intervention. Individual level changes in body weight and V̇O2peak were found. In conclusion, twelve weeks of aerobic exercise reduced oxidative stress and improved the propensity to vasodilate but did not alter CGM-assessed glucose concentrations or glycemic variability in this group of overweight or obese non-diabetic adults. These findings may be due to individual changes in body weight or V̇O2peak, which necessitates further research to explore their influence on these outcomes of interest.