What types of exercise are most beneficial for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Sep 27, 2021
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Balducci et al showed that a supervised, facility-based exercise training program, when added to standard treatments for type 2 diabetes mellitus, yields better results than does simply counseling patients to exercise. [317]

A randomized, controlled trial by Church et al emphasized the need to incorporate both aerobic and resistance training to achieve better lowering of HbA1c levels. [318] Aerobic exercise alone or in combination with resistance training improves glycemic control, circulating triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, and waist circumference. [319] The impact of resistance exercise alone, however, remains unclear.

Loimaala et al found that long-term endurance and strength training resulted in improved metabolic control of diabetes mellitus and significant cardiovascular risk reduction, compared with standard treatment. However, exercise training did not improve conduit arterial elasticity. [320]

In a 3-month trial, Hegde et al found that yoga can be effective in reducing oxidative metabolic stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, yoga did not impact waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, vitamin E, or superoxide dismutase. [321]

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