People with Type 2 diabetes may find that a combination of aerobics and resistance… (Los Angeles Times )
Yet more support for the combination of aerobic and resistance training exercise: A new study released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. finds that combining the two was good for blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, more than those who did not exercise or who did just aerobics or resistance training.
The study participants were made up of 262 sedentary men and women who had Type 2 diabetes and hemoglobin A1C levels of at least 6.5%. A1C levels are a measure of blood glucose over a two- to three-month period, and 4% to 6% is considered a normal range.
The men and women, average age about 56, were divided into three groups for the nine-month study: one that did resistance training, one that did aerobic training, one that did both, and a control group that did not do any exercise. Those in the exercise groups worked out for about 140 minutes per week.
The combination exercise group lowered its hemoglobin A1C levels minus 0.34% compared with the control group. The resistance and aerobic training groups showed less significant change; minus 0.16% and minus 0.24% respectively, compared with controls. Those in the combination group also lowered their hypoglycemic medications more than the other groups. Even small decreases in A1C levels may result in health risk reductions.
The participants in the combination exercise group showed even more improvements: They had the greatest increases in peak oxygen intake (a measure of fitness) and lost the most weight, compared with controls.
"Despite a population with many medical concerns," wrote the authors, "we obtained good exercise adherence and a low dropout rate. Furthermore, the exercise prescriptions performed are easily obtainable and well tolerated by individuals with diabetes, which has important implications for refining future physical activity recommendations."