The two basic types of exercise, aerobic and muscle or resistance training, have been much studied as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Investigators at the Lanzhou University in Lanzhou, China, put together thirty-seven studies on the two exercise types and analyzed them as if they were one extensive study. They found a combination of the two types of exercise is best for controlling blood sugar levels. Their results were published in July of 2018 in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
The studies included a total of 2208 participants who had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Both types of physical activity showed improved control of blood sugar levels when compared with no exercise, but combined training lowered the HbA1c levels more than either kind of exercise alone...
- supervised aerobic activity improved HbA1c levels 0.6 percent more than unsupervised aerobic exercise and improved weight loss by more than 5 kg.
- supervised muscle training showed more benefit than no exercise in lowering the systolic (top number) blood pressure reading and total cholesterol levels.
The HbA1c is a measurement of sugar in the red blood cells which live for approximately 120 days in the body. Measuring their sugar, or glucose levels indicates accurate blood sugar control for the three months before the blood draw. People with Type 2 diabetes are usually advised to maintain their HbA1c levels below 7.0 percent.
Systolic blood pressure is a measure of the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries each time the heart pumps. It should not be over 120 mm of Hg, and some experts recommend keeping the level at or below 110 mm of Hg.
Ideal weight in most individuals should result in a body mass index (BMI) of between 18 and 25. This is calculated as the weight in kg divided by height in meters squared and can be found easily with online calculators that require only height and weight. Measuring the amount of fat using sonograms gives a better picture, but this is not practical in most settings.
Aerobic exercise is the kind that makes your breathing and heart beat faster than usual. Physical activities such as...
- riding a bike, and
are classed as aerobic exercise.
Muscle training or resistance, includes moving against a force, such as...
- lifting weights or
- pushing against a wall.
Calories expended per hour for the following aerobic activities in an individual weighing 160-pound are...
- hiking... 438
- golfing, carrying clubs... 314
- ballroom dancing... 219
Calories expended per hour for the following resistance activities...
- moderate weight lifting... 224
- using resistance bands... 224
Exercise has many benefits but the biggest one for people with Type 2 diabetes is it makes it easier to control your blood sugar levels. and your body weight.