Exercise as a prescription? This is a common question. What is the best kind of exercise for patients with Type II diabetes? A new study suggests that a variety may be the best when trying to control this disease. We have always known that people with Type II diabetes can benefit from exercise. Now, new research examines exactly what type of exercise is the most beneficial to improve blood sugar levels over time.
In a study that appears this week in JAMA, The Journal for the American Medical Association, an exercise regimen that combines aerobic exercise and resistance training produced the best results. Researchers from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and co-authors conducted a randomized controlled trial of 262 sedentary individual with Type II diabetes who had hemoglobin A1C levels of 6.5% or higher. One group walked, another lifted weights, a third combined both of these activities, and a control group maintained just normal activity. The combination group lost the most body fat at almost six pounds. They did not lose any lean muscle, which is important because muscle is critical for helping control blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. An added bonus, participants were able to reduce the amount of medications they were taking. Participants completed the nine month program exercising 140 minutes per week, which researchers say reinforces the governments 2008 physicial activity guidelines. The encouraging news here is that you can do something about your diabetes, something that you will actually enjoy but can also good for your health!!