I often recommend exercise for the prevention and management of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. In my opinion, exercise is vital to improve health outcomes. To more closely examine the issue of exercise and how it relates to the management of type 2 diabetes, let’s take a look at the results from a recent study.
The study, published in Diabetes Care, evaluated 262 high-risk, obese patients with type 2 diabetes and randomly placed them in one of four groups. Group one was the control group which did not exercise; group two only performed cardiovascular fitness; group three was the resistance-only group; and the fourth group performed a combined program consisting of resistance and cardio exercises.
The researchers measured the participants’ level of fitness (leg strength, peak maximal oxygen uptake), body composition (body fat, lean body mass, and waist circumference) and diabetes status (HbA1c) at the beginning of the study and again after nine months. The subjects in group two and three spent an average of 140 minutes per week in the gym. However, group four spent 110 minutes per week performing cardio and 30 minutes per week training with weights.
The results of this study, I find, are very interesting. Firstly, the researchers discovered that the people who expended the most energy and decreased their waist circumference to the greatest degree were almost three times more likely to have lower HbA1c levels (measure of glucose control) and required less medication in comparison to those who did not achieve this level of fitness.
The other result from this study also indicated that the group who had the most improvements in fitness, body composition, and glucose control were from group four. The study participants who trained with weights and also performed cardio on a treadmill lost more abdominal fat, used less medication, and had better control of their blood sugar than the other participants.
This study is also important in that it clearly demonstrates the important aspects which are involved in the control of even severe forms of diabetes. The same can be said for the control and prevention of obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.
Those individuals who exercised with increasing degrees of regularity, while choosing a program consisting of cardiovascular and weight training, will be able to more effectively control the size of their waistline, blood sugar, and improve their degree of insulin sensitivity.
I recommend at least 60 minutes per day of cardiovascular exercise and at least three 30 minute sessions of weight training per week.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Senechal, M., et al., “Changes in body fat distribution and fitness are associated with changes in hemoglobin A1c after 9 months of exercise training,” Diabetes Care. May 13, 2013.