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Exercise Combo Best for Type 2 Diabetes
Date:11/23/2010

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Variety in your workout routine may be key to optimal diabetes management, new research suggests.

The study found that when people with type 2 diabetes did aerobic exercise some days and resistance training on others, they had lower blood sugar levels after nine months than people who did either type of exercise alone.

"From a health perspective, the combination exercise program really outshined the others," said the study's lead author, Dr. Timothy Church, director of preventive medicine research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University System in Baton Rouge.

"We really thought that the walking group and the combination group would be similar, but the combination group was the only group that had significant improvement. They reduced their HbA1C levels, while also reducing the amount of diabetes medications," said Church.

The HbA1C test examines long-term (two to three months) blood sugar concentration. Unlike a fasting blood glucose test, the HbA1C indicates how well you've controlled your blood sugar over the past eight to 12 weeks.

The findings from Church's study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, are published in the Nov. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Exercise is commonly recommended for people with diabetes, but according to Church, the type of exercise that might be best for people with diabetes hasn't been well-studied.

To get a better idea of whether aerobic exercise (such as walking or running) or resistance training (such as weight lifting) was of more benefit, the researchers recruited 262 sedentary people with type 2 diabetes for a nine-month study. The average age of the participants was about 56. Sixty-three percent of the study volunteers were women and 47.3 percent were nonwhite.

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