New study confirms benefits for type 2 diabetics of combining aerobic exercise and resistance training

When aerobic exercise is combined with resistance training, it can lead to significant improvements in cardiovascular risk factors among individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from a group of Canadian researchers.

The findings add support to the growing amount of data that suggest exercise really is the best medicine for diabetics. Furthermore, the results lend credence to the idea that resistance exercises should be used to supplement aerobic activity for best results.

The Parkwood Hospital researchers who conducted the study reported in the journal Diabetes Care that they reviewed the findings of 34 previous clinical investigations into the cardiovascular effects of aerobic exercise and resistance training among individuals with type 2 diabetes. Their findings showed promising results.

Individuals who participated in aerobic exercise combined with resistance training experienced a 0.7 percent reduction in HbA1c levels, their blood pressure dropped by 6.08 millimeters of mercury, their triglyceride levels were reduced by 0.3 millimoles per liter and their waist circumference shrank by 3.1 centimeters.

The researchers wrote in their report that it should be clear that exercise is among the most important things a person with type 2 diabetes can do to reduce their cardiovascular risk. While adding resistance training provided slightly less obvious benefits, it could play an important role in any fitness plan.

The results of a recent clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed similar benefits to combining aerobic exercise and resistance training. The investigation revealed that merging the two types of activity yielded greater improvements in blood sugar control than either by itself, providing strong support to the notion that individuals with type 2 diabetes could benefit from more exercise.