Swimming Can Improve Horse Glucose, Insulin Levels
Both blood glucose and blood insulin values improved in Thoroughbreds training on a daily swimming routine, making this low-intensity exercise program a good way to help manage insulin regulation, said Paolo Baragli, DVM, PhD, and Micaela Sgorbini, DVM, PhD, researchers in the University of Pisa Department of Veterinary Sciences, in Italy.
“With swimming, we can maintain adequate levels of glucose uptake (and even improve it) without having negative outcomes related to the hoof impact on the ground,” he said.
In their study, Baragli, Sgorbini, and their fellow researchers worked 12 Thoroughbred geldings gradually up to a daily swimming session of 60 minutes in an equine pool. They compared insulin and glucose levels before and after a full month of the routine. To do so, they tested plasma insulin and glucose concentrations at multiple intervals (5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 60 minutes) after an intravenous injection of glucose, at the start and the end of the training month. They also monitored the horses’ heart rates and blood lactate levels during exercise
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