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You cannot hide, but you can run! Exercise and type 2 diabetes revisited.

1 August 2014 (01:20 PM) - Medical Journals, Editor's Corner

Everyone agrees that exercise is good for those with and without diabetes. However, what sounds good in theory, is a bit more difficult to prove in real life. A clear effect of lifestyle intervention on hard outcomes has yet to be demonstrated. However, if we look at surrogate outcomes such as HbA1c, there is consistent and compelling evidence that exercise is beneficial. A new meta-analysis in Diabetologia aimed to settle the question what was most effective: supervised aerobic exercise training, resistance training, or a combination of both.

Previous analyses had demonstrated that structured supervised training is more efficacious than unsupervised training at home. In this meta-analysis, Schwingshackl and colleagues selected only studies which looked at supervised training and which directly compared aerobic training, resistance training and the combination of both. The combination training led to a 0.2% greater drop in HbA1c than aerobic exercise training, which in turn was about 0.2% better than resistance training; in a direct comparison, combination training led to a 0.6% better HbA1c than resistance training. Similarly beneficial results were found for fasting glucose, triglycerides and systolic blood pressure. Thus, when it comes to exercise, a combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise works best, but the emphasis should probably be more on the aerobic side of it. You will have to run!