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Diabetes Control Maintained with Physical Activity

New study suggests that just twice a week resistance training is helpful for maintaining control of blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. Dr. David W. Dunstan of the International Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, and colleagues, studied 57 overweight and sedentary adults between the ages of 40 and 80 years who had type 2 diabetes for more than 6 months.

Initially, the subjects attended a laboratory-supervised resistance training program twice a week for 2 months. The patients were then assigned to a resistance training maintenance program, twice a week for 12 months, either in a community fitness recreation center or at home.

The community center program included access to a gym, exercise and resistance training. Control of blood glucose levels, using a measure called A1C, was assessed at the start (baseline) and after 2 months and 14 months.

"The 2-month laboratory-supervised program significantly reduced A1C, increased lean body mass, and increased both upper body and lower body strength," the researchers report. After 14 months, A1C remained lower than baseline in the community center group, but returned to close to baseline in the home group.

The investigators conclude that blood sugar control is better maintained in type 2 diabetics who participate in a community center exercise program.
Diabetes Care, December 2006.

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