Combining physical activity helps people with type 2 diabetes better manage their blood sugar levels


Numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of aerobic exercise and muscle or resistance training as treatments for Type 2 diabetes. Thirty-seven studies on the two exercise types were combined by researchers at Lanzhou University in Lanzhou, China, and examined as if they were a single comprehensive study. The best form of exercise for regulating blood sugar levels, they discovered, is a combination of the two. Their results were published in July of 2018 in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

2208 participants with Type 2 diabetes were enrolled in the studies in total. When compared to no exercise, both forms of exercise showed improved blood sugar regulation, but combined training reduced HbA1c levels more than either form of exercise alone…

  • supervised aerobic activity improved HbA1c levels decreased by more than 5 kg and were 0.6 percent lower than with unsupervised aerobic exercise.
  • 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. Their blood sugar levels can be measured to determine how well they have controlled their blood sugar in the three months prior to the blood draw. Typically, it is advised to keep HbA1c levels in people with Type 2 diabetes under 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. Some experts advise keeping the level at or below 110 mm of Hg, and it shouldn’t exceed 120 mm of Hg.

Ideal weight in most individuals should result in a body mass index (BMI) that falls between 18 and 25. You can quickly find this using online calculators that only require your height and weight by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. Sonograms provide a better picture of the fat distribution, but they are not practical in most situations.

Aerobic exercise is the kind that makes your breathing and heart beat faster than usual. physical exercises like…

  • dancing,
  • riding a bike, and
  • running

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 used up per hour for the ensuing resistance exercises…

  • moderate weight lifting… 224
  • using resistance bands… 224

The biggest advantage of exercise for those with Type 2 diabetes is that it makes it simpler to control blood sugar levels. and your body weight.

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