For people with type 2 diabetes, the dose of exercise matters

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In a new study, researchers found for people with type 2 diabetes, both aerobic exercise training (like walking or jogging) and resistance exercise training (strength training) lead to improvements in blood sugar control, and a combination of aerobic and resistance training results in larger improvements.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Calgary and elsewhere.

In this study, the team analyzed data from a six-month exercise trial in participants with type 2 diabetes to explore the links between the dose of exercise (the proportion of the total prescribed exercise sessions that were completed) and the change in blood sugar control.

All participants in the exercise groups were asked to do three exercise sessions per week.

The team found overall, the more exercise completed, the better the improvement in blood sugar control.

For aerobic training and combined aerobic and resistance training, but not for resistance training alone, those who completed more exercise sessions had greater improvements in blood sugar control.

The links between the dose of exercise and change in blood sugar control were strong for younger people (age 40-55 years), men, and those with worse blood sugar control before participating in the study.

In contrast, for older participants (age 55-70 years), women and people with better blood sugar control at the start of the study, there was no strong link between the percent of exercise sessions completed and improvements in blood sugar control.

One author of the study is Jamie Benham from the University of Calgary.

The study is published in Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise

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