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Aerobic, Resistance Training for Type 2 Diabetes

Adults with type 2 diabetes who participate in aerobic exercise can experience improvements in HbA1c levels, body composition, and overall fitness.

The best improvements can be observed when the exercise involves a combination of aerobic and resistance training, according to the HART-D study, which included 262 men and women with type 2 diabetes. Researchers randomly assigned participants to one of four exercise regimens: supervised aerobic training only; supervised resistance training only; supervised aerobic plus resistance training; or self-directed exercise, which was the control group. In each exercise program, participants completed at least 150 minutes of training per week, with the researchers observing the effects of each training program for nine months.

Participants assigned to aerobic plus resistance training experienced a 0.20% improvement in HbA1c, and those assigned to aerobic training alone experienced a 0.1 6% improvement, compared with a 0.24% increase in the control group. The resistance-training group experienced a nonsignificant improvement of 0.08 percent. Fat mass was significantly reduced by 0.6 kg to 1.4 kg, and waist circumference reduced by 1.7 cm to 2.5 cm in each exercise group when compared with the control group.

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