Even moderate exercise can benefit diabetes

Mon, 26 Mar 2012
Research carried out in the Netherlands has highlighted how even moderate exercise can help people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels.

The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, revealed that even working out for an hour every couple of days was able to reduce blood sugar in the same way as 30-minute exercise every day for men of an average age of 60 with type 2 diabetes. Around half of the participants needed insulin injections to help manage their blood sugar, with the remainder using diet or pills.

With continuous monitoring of blood sugar, the men had to take part in three different tests, one where they cycled for an hour before resting the next day, another involving cycling for half an hour on two consecutive days, and the third being where they didn't take any exercise at all. On days they cycled, their blood sugar was seen to be high for only 24 per cent of the time, as opposed to 32 per cent when they didn't take any exercise.

Luc J.C. van Loon from the University of Maastricht commented "Our findings suggest that frequent short bouts of moderate exercise can be substituted for less frequent exercise bouts of a longer duration in people with type 2 diabetes, or vice versa."

He added "These findings set the stage for a more personalised exercise prescription, tailored to the needs and capabilities of the individual with type 2 diabetes."
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