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The Best Exercise for Diabetics

People with type 2 diabetes can lower their glucose levels more when they do both aerobic and weight training exercises than when they do just one or neither of these types of exercise. At least that’s according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Previously the best kind of exercise for diabetics was unclear. There is useful information here for both diabetics and non-diabetics.

The 9 month study was conducted by a team led by Dr. Timothy Church, who is director of preventive medicine research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in the Louisiana State University System. It examined 262 sedentary male and female patients with type 2 diabetes. Church measured glycated hemoglobin, an accepted measure of how well diabetics have controlled their blood sugar over the previous months. A lower reading is a better reading for a diabetic.

Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

The study’s aerobic exercise included moderate walking on a treadmill for about 150 minutes per week. The study’s resistance training consisted of leg, upper body, back, and abdominal exercises 3 days per week. The combined training included just 2 days of resistance training per week, in order to maintain a consistent total exercise time between all 3 groups. All groups spent about 140 minutes in total exercises time per week.

The study determined that, even though both aerobic and resistance training provided benefits in themselves, only the combination of the two kinds reduced the subjects’ levels of glycated hemoglobin. Moreover, the combination exercise group showed less need to up the dosages of the medications they used to control their diabetes. All of the groups reduced their waist measurements by 1.5 - 2.8 cm. Fat was reduced by 3 lbs in the resistance training group and 3.7 lbs in the combination group. However, only those in the combination group were significantly more likely than those in the control group to get to be able to reduce their glycated hemoglobin levels or hypoglycemic medication.

"We really thought that the walking group and the combination group would be similar, but the combination group was the only group that had significant improvement. They reduced their glycated hemoglobin levels, while also reducing the amount of diabetes medications," said Church, who is.

It has been well publicized that the prevalence of obesity and diabetes has increased dramatically. The lessons of the Church study are therefore relevant to everyone concerned with his health. The advice for avoiding diabetes is similar to that for treating it. That is often expressed as "lose weight, avoid simple carbohydrates, and exercise regularly." The Church study defines this exercise as both cardiovascular and weight training.


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