Diabetes patients benefit from aerobic and resistance exercise

Armen Hareyan's picture
Advertisement

Type 2 Diabetes and Aerobic Exercise

People with diabetes improved blood sugar control by doing aerobic and resistance exercise.

In a new randomized controlled trial, both aerobic and resistance exercise improved glycemic/blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. The greatest improvements came from combined aerobic and resistance training.

Advertisement

The study included 251 adults, between ages 39 and 70, who were not exercising regularly and had type 2 diabetes. Participants were assigned to one of four groups: performing 45 minutes aerobic training three times per week, 45 minutes of resistance training three times per week, 45 minutes each of both three times per week, or no exercise.

Each participant was evaluated on changes in A1c value, a number that reflects blood sugar concentrations over the previous two or three months, and is expressed as a percent. An absolute decrease of 1.0 percent in A1c value (e.g. from 8.5 percent to 7.5 percent) would be associated with a 15 percent to 20 percent decrease in risk of heart attack or stroke, and a 25 percent to 40 percent decrease in risk of diabetes-related eye disease or kidney disease.

Both the aerobic and resistance training groups had improved blood sugar control A1c value decreased by about 0.5 percent. The group that did both kinds of exercise had about twice as much improvement as either other group alone

Advertisement