Exercise Approach For Diabetes
Lukas Schwingshackl, from the University of Vienna (Austria), and colleagues completed a meta-analysis of 14 studies with a total of 915 participants, that assessed diabetics on various exercise regimens lasting 8 weeks or longer. Data analysis revealed that aerobic exercise appeared to be more effective than resistance training at reducing HbA1C, and fasting blood sugar.
Exercise approach for diabetes
Combined training programs were even more effective than aerobic exercise alone for reducing HbA1C and more effective than resistance training alone for reducing HbA1C, fasting blood sugar, and triglycerides. The study authors write that: “the present data suggest that [combined training] might be the most efficacious exercise modality to improve glycaemic control and blood lipids.”
A short 30-min session of moderate-intensity endurance-type exercise substantially reduces the prevalence of hyperglycemia throughout the subsequent day in type 2 diabetic patients. When total work is being matched, daily exercise does not further improve daily glycemia compared with exercise performed every other day.
The level of glycemia, and particularly postprandial glycemia, has been associated with the development of cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetes. Therefore, glycemic control is fundamental to type 2 diabetes treatment. Since the effects of structured exercise training on glycemic control have been well established, exercise is considered a cornerstone in type 2 diabetes treatment.
A single bout of exercise lowers circulating blood glucose concentrations and reduces the prevalence of hyperglycemic episodes throughout the subsequent day in type 2 diabetic patients. These glucoregulatory properties of exercise are attributable to an increase in whole-body insulin sensitivity, which has been reported to persist for up to 48 h following a single bout of exercise.
As such, the benefits of exercise on long-term glycemic control (i.e., HbA1c) can be largely ascribed to the cumulative glucoregulatory effects of each successive bout of exercise, rather than the structural adaptive response to prolonged exercise training. In fact, the effects of more prolonged exercise training on insulin sensitivity may be lost entirely 6–8 days after cessation of training.
Therefore, regular exercise is warranted to improve and/or maintain long-term glycemic control. This is also recognized by the recently updated exercise guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association, which state that exercise should be performed at least 3 days/per week with no more than two consecutive days between exercise bouts.