Combined Aerobic, Resistance Training Helpful To Diabetes Patients

Doing a combination of aerobic exercise with resistance training has shown improved glycemic levels among patients with type 2 diabetes,according to a recent study. The same level of improvement was not seen among the diabetic patients who performed either resistance training or aerobic exercise alone. Researchers from the Louisiana State University System in Baton Rouge, Louisiana conducted the said study that is published on the November 24 issue of JAMA.

The researchers conducted the HART-D trial which compared 262 sedentary men and women with type 2 diabetes and the effect of aerobic exercise, resistance training and a combination of both programs on their hemoglobin A1c levels, the substance monitored to check blood glucose levels. The participants in the study were 63 percent women, 47.3 percent non-white and with an average age of 56 years. The participants also had an average HbA1c level of 7.7 percent and have had diabetes for an average of 7.1 years.

The participants were enrolled in a 9-month exercise program between April 2007 and August 2009. of the total participants, 41 were assigned to the non-exercise control group, 72 to the aerobic exercise program, 73 to resistance training sessions and 76 participants to a combined aerobic and resistance training program.

After finishing their respective exercise programs, the researchers found that the absolute change in HbA1c in the combination training group with that of the control group was -0.34 percent. No significant changes were seen in either solely the resistance training group or the aerobic exercise group compared to what was seen in the control group.

Only those who were in the combination exercise group showed improved maximum oxygen consumption.

The researchers of the study wrote, “The primary finding from this randomized, controlled exercise trial involving individuals with type 2 diabetes is that although both resistance and aerobic training provide benefits, only the combination of the 2 were associated with reductions in HbA1c levels.”

“It also is important to appreciate that the follow-up difference in HbA1c between the combination training group and the control group occurred even though the control group had increased its use of diabetes medications while the combination training group decreased its diabetes medication uses,” the researchers further noted.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals (2010, November 23). Combining aerobic and resistance training appears helpful for patients with diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2010, from­ /releases/2010/11/101123174340.htm


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