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Exercise Combo Best for Diabetes Control

A combination of aerobic and resistance training exercise may be best for individuals with type 2 diabetes. A new study has confirmed that this exercise combination may help control type 2 diabetes better than doing either exercise alone.

Although it has long been known that exercise plays a crucial role in managing type 2 diabetes, it has not been established what particular types of exercise could help control blood sugar levels. Results of the study now gave evidence that aerobic exercise and resistance training combined have twice improved blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes compared to just doing either of the exercise alone. The study also found that inactive participants showed no change in their blood sugar levels.

Dr. Ronald Sigal and colleagues from the University of Calgary in Canada randomly assigned 251 adults with type 2 diabetes to four groups: one group that did aerobic exercises, a group that took up resistance training, a third group that combined both exercises, and a control group that remained inactive.

All participants were given a six-month gym membership and were asked to train thrice a week. The aerobic training consisted of walking on the treadmill and using a stationary bike, while those in the resistance training group used weight machines.

Five months into the training, a significant improvement in the hemoglobin A1c levels were shown in all participants in the three exercise groups. Remarkably, the participants who did both aerobic and resistance training had the greatest improvement. Their A1c levels were shown to have dropped almost a full percentage point, something that could make a difference against the onslaught of complications like heart attack and stroke.

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