Posted on Dec 09, 2010, 6 a.m.
Levels of hemoglobin A1c, a marker of blood sugar, may be reduced by a combined resistance and aerobic exercise program.
A number of previous studies have suggested a range of health benefits for a combined resistance and aerobic exercise program. Timothy Church, from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (Louisiana, USA), and colleagues conducted a nine-month long study known as HART-D -- Health Benefits of Aerobic and Resistance Training in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes, which included 262 sedentary men and women with type 2 diabetes and levels of hemoglobin A1c, a marker of blood sugar, at 6.5% or higher. Through nine months, the average hemoglobin A1c level increased by 0.11% in the control group, but declined in each of the three exercise groups. Compared with the control group, the absolute reduction in hemoglobin A1c level was significant in the combination training group: the combination of aerobic and resistance training reduced hemoglobin A1c levels by 0.34%. The researchers conclude that: “Among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, a combination of aerobic and resistance training compared with the nonexercise control group improved HbA1c levels. This was not achieved by aerobic or resistance training alone.”
Timothy S. Church; Steven N. Blair; Shannon Cocreham; Neil Johannsen; William Johnson; Kimberly Kramer; Catherine R. Mikus; Valerie Myers; Melissa Nauta; Ruben Q. Rodarte; Lauren Sparks; Angela Thompson; Conrad P. Earnest. “Effects of Aerobic and Resistance Training on Hemoglobin A1c Levels in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” JAMA, November 24, 2010; 304: 2253 - 2262.