Exercises That Are a Good Treatment for Diabetes Type Two
To study how exercise affects people with diabetes type two, Anna Chudyk and Robert Petrella, researchers at the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, Canada, selected 34 articles involving individuals diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2.
The individuals had to be 18 years or older, who participated in aerobic and resistance exercises combined, or resistance exercise programs designed to expend at least 1000 kcal/week for at least 8 weeks.
The study was published by Diabetes Care under the title of “Effects of Exercise on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes”. MedWire News published the results in the following article:
MedWire News: Results from a systematic review show that aerobic and combined aerobic and resistance exercise significantly improve glycemic control and other cardiometabolic factors in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
However, no significant benefits of resistance exercise alone were observed, and the researchers say that the impact of this type of exercise on cardiovascular and glycemic risk markers remains uncertain.
Anna Chudyk and Robert Petrella from the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, Canada, selected 34 articles for inclusion in the study.
To be included, the studies had to involve individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes aged 18 years or above, who participated in structured aerobic, combined (aerobic and resistance), or resistance exercise programs designed to expend at least 1000 kcal/week for at least 8 weeks.
The primary outcome measure was reduction in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, but other cardiometabolic factors, such as blood pressure, lipids, and waist circumference, were also measured.
Writing in the journal Diabetes Care, the team reports that aerobic exercise alone resulted in a significant mean reduction in HbA1c of 0.60% with a similar reduction seen for combined exercise, of 0.67%.
“These effects are comparable to that of drug monotherapy, which is related to a 0.5-1.5% decrease in HbA1c, depending on the pharmaceutical agent used and the baseline HbA1c level of the individual,” explain Chudyk and Petrella.
Aerobic and combination exercise programs also resulted in significant improvements in systolic blood pressure, with reductions of 6.08 and 3.59 mmHg from baseline, respectively.
In the pooled aerobic and combination exercise cohort, triglycerides decreased by a mean 0.3 mmol/l and waist circumference by a mean 3.1 cm.
No significant improvements in HbA1c or cardiovascular risk factors were seen in patients who participated in resistance exercise alone, however, contradicting the findings of previous studies.
The authors suggest that “perhaps the resistance training interventions included in this analysis were not conducted at intensity high enough to elicit meaningful increases in energy expenditure.”
Chudyk and Petrella conclude: “Because the extent of HbA1c reduction is positively related to the baseline value of HbA1c, combined aerobic and strength training, as well as aerobic training, may be the preferred first-line treatment option for individuals with lower baseline HbA1c values who want to delay the onset of pharmaceutical treatment.”
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