So, we know exercise is a vital part of treatment for Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) but what TYPE of exercise?
Exercise can cause genetic, neuromuscular and metabolic changes at a cellular level - that is powerful stuff!
BUT these changes occur specifically with a combination of resistance and aerobic exercise.
Benefits of aerobic exercise are well established for treating type 2 diabetes and studies have shown that more vigorous exercise results in further benefits.
Aerobic benefits include improving cardiovascular fitness as well as metabolic control. It helps to reduce blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes.
Resistance training has again other benefits, it works at the skeletal muscle level improving strength and size of the muscle. Your muscle mass makes up 1/3 of your metabolic rate, so the more muscle mass the greater your metabolic rate!
Resistance training helps to get the glucose into the muscle to be used instead of in the blood and thereby improves glucose control.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with defects at the neuromuscular level such as decreased muscle strength, mass, power and quality. The muscle therefore fatigues quicker. These defects usually occur in the lower body and are made worse when you have nerve damage associated with Diabetes (Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy). Resistance training is a useful tool for prevention and treatment of these symptoms.
Research has shown that even a single bout of high intensity interval training of 4 sets of 30s is enough to help with the energy levels in the cell.
In summary, patients should perform a combination of aerobic and resistance training on most days of the week not having more than 72 hours of no exercise. Patients should include moderate to high intensity resistance training including all the major muscle groups with a focus on the lower body. Power training is a good adjunct to help to prevent and treat neuromuscular defects associated with type 2 diabetes.
Our Exercise Physiologist Leigh-Anne can help with tailored programme prescription. Book an appointment by calling 4356 2588 or book online via the button below.
You can find out more about our Exercise Physiology course here.
Thanks to Coast Sport Exercise Physiologist Leigh-Anne for preparing this blog. You can find out more about Leigh-Anne here.