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Aerobic, Weight Training Combo Best Against Diabetes
Date:9/17/2007

Exercise is always good, but combining two approaches brings better results, study finds

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Most people know that exercise can help beat type 2 diabetes, but one type of fitness regimen might work best, a new study shows.

Specifically, workouts that combine aerobic and resistance training exercises appear better at controlling blood sugar than either type of activity alone, researchers say.

The finding is new, because "most other studies have looked at just one kind of exercise, either aerobic or resistance," noted lead researcher Dr. Ronald J. Sigal, an associate professor of medicine and cardiac sciences at the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada.

The study is published in the Sept. 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

As part of their research, Sigal's team evaluated 251 adults, ages 39 to 70, all with type 2 diabetes and not regular exercisers at the start of the study.

The participants were assigned to one of four groups: those who did 45 minutes of aerobic training three times a week, those who did 45 minutes of resistance (i.e., weight) training three times a week, those who did 45 minutes each of both forms of exercise three times a week, and those who did no exercise at all.

The aerobic group worked out on a treadmill or a bike at the gym; memberships were provided. The resistance group also worked out at the gym, with memberships provided, doing seven different exercises on weight machines.

Sigal's team evaluated changes in A1c values -- a measurement reflecting blood sugar concentrations -- over the previous two to three months. A1c is expressed as a percentage. A decline of 1.0 percent in A1c value would be linked to a 15 percent to 20 percent decrease in risk of heart attack or stroke, the researchers explained, and a 25 percent to 40 percent decline in risk of complications linked to diabetes, such as eye d
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