WEDNESDAY, July 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of
aerobic and resistance training may work better than either type of
exercise alone in helping people with diabetes control their blood
sugar, a new review finds.
Researchers analyzed data from 14 studies that included more
than 900 people with type 2 diabetes. The studies looked at the
role of aerobic or resistance training (workouts such as
weightlifting) in boosting the health of diabetics.
Compared with either aerobic or resistance training alone, a
regimen that combined both types of workouts was more effective in
controlling blood sugar (glucose), blood fats, blood pressure and
weight, the researchers said. The combination approach also helped
more people reach higher levels of good cholesterol, according to
the findings published July 2 in the journal
The Austrian researchers added that there is evidence that
supervised workouts are more effective than unsupervised training,
but most people don't have access to the intense, supervised
exercise routines used in the studies.
"Combined aerobic and resistance training can be recommended as
part of a lifestyle program in the management of type 2 diabetes
wherever possible," conclude the team led by Lukas Schwingshackl of
the University of Vienna. They stressed, though, that more study is
needed to confirm the findings.
One expert in the United States believes that exercise is always
a good choice for people battling type 2 diabetes.
"Both aerobic and resistance activity are capable of reducing
blood glucose," said Dr. Gerald Bernstein, director of the Diabetes
Management Program at the Friedman Diabetes Institute, part of Beth
Israel Medical Center in New York City.
However, different modes of exercise might have different
effects, he added.
"Resistance training builds muscles and thereby increases
glucose utilization through increased muscle mass," Bernstein
explained, while "aerobic training burns glucose on the spot."
Bernstein stressed that, "most importantly, some type of
exercise regularly performed makes a big difference in management
of blood glucose and reduced risk for complications."
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
physical activity and diabetes.