Moderate exercise linked to better quality of life for type 2 diabetics

Wed, 27 Feb 2013
Exercising three times a week can significantly improve the quality of life for overweight people with type 2 diabetes, according to researchers from the University of Bath.

The team, led by Professor Conrad Earnest, found that even a moderate exercise routine can boost both physical and mental health in individuals with type 2 diabetes who generally report reduced quality of life compared with non-diabetic individuals.

The findings, published in journal Diabetes Care, come from a nine-month study which looked at the benefits of aerobic and resistance training in 243 sedentary, overweight diabetic adults between the ages of 30 and 75.

Participants were randomly split into three exercise groups, consisting of three days a week of aerobic training only, resistance training only, or a combination of resistance and aerobic training, and a non-exercise control group. Those in the latter were offered weekly stretching and relaxation class and asked to maintain their current level of activity during the study.

The researchers used a multi-purpose, short-form health survey to assess changes in the physical, emotional and social aspects of life, and found that participants who exercised over the nine months had greater improvements in quality of life and wellbeing, particularly those in the combination training group.

"Our findings have significant clinical implications and support recommendations for individuals with Type 2 diabetes to adopt exercise programs with combined aerobic and resistance training," Dr Earnest commented.

"A moderately intensive exercise programme consistent with public health recommendation in sedentary individuals with diabetes is likely to result in improved quality of life and exercise interventions should be advocated further as a standard care for individuals with diabetes".

He added: "All in all our study shows that even if you have a life-changing illness, a little bit of exercise goes a long way for improving your outlook on life.
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