Exercise and Diabetes Linked in Canadian Study


Exercise and diabetes take center stage in a Canadian Study. This research showed that resistance and aerobic work out help the diabetics. Do you want to know in what sense the work outs help? Well, it looks like the benefit is for type 2 diabetes in the control of the blood sugar.

Compared to lack of exercise, both the resistance and aerobic work out were found to be effective. This study was for a 26-week period and conducted in eight communities. The findings are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Ronald Sigal, associate professor of medicine and cardiac sciences of University of Alberta was the lead author of this study. He said that scientists already knew the benefits of exercise on the blood sugar levels but were not clear about the benefit of other types of resistance exercise that involves weight lifting in order to build strength. So the link they were looking for was the one between exercise and diabetes.

The study tested 251 inactive 39-70 year old adults with type 2 diabetes. They made sure the participants passed the stress test before going ahead with the study. They divided the participants into four groups: the aerobic group did aerobic training for 45 minutes on treadmills and exercise bikes three times a week.

The resistance group did resistance training for 45 minutes on weights three times a week. The third group did 45 minutes of aerobics and 45 minutes of resistance training three times a week. The control group did no exercise at all. This is how they set up the foundation in order to find the link between exercise and diabetes.

They tested the A1c values at six months and found that the aerobics group dropped their blood sugar levels by 51%. The resistance group dropped by 38% and the combined group dropped by 59%. There was no change in the control group. One can tell that by six months, the researchers were on track to find the link between exercise and diabetes.

Here are the benefits of exercise:

  • Lowers the blood glucose levels
  • Improves the sensitivity to insulin
  • Lowers the A1C levels
  • Increases strength and flexibility
  • Lowers the triglyceride levels
  • Helps with weight loss by burning more calories
  • Conditions the cardiovascular system

  • Improves mild to moderate high blood pressure
  • Increases the good cholesterol
  • Improves the well-being and quality of life

They concluded that performing both the aerobic and resistance exercise is the way to go when trying to make the most of blood sugar control. Drs. William Kraus and Benjamin Levine wrote, "Imagine an inexpensive pill that could decrease the hemoglobin A1c value by 1 percentage point, reduce cardiovascular death by 25 percent, and substantially improve functional capacity (strength, endurance, and bone density)."

The practitioners will certainly include this pill in the practice strategy. It is clear that clinicians should include advice and counseling as part of the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is however good to point out the limitations of the study. For one thing the third group had more hours of exercise. Secondly, those who couldn’t stick to the exercise routine were excluded from the study. This is how they found out the link between exercise and diabetes.

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