Exercise Prescriptions Important for Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise Prescriptions Important for Type 2 DiabetesExercise Prescriptions Important for Type 2 Diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes should be given exercise “prescriptions” that specify the type, duration, intensity and frequency of workouts, adapted to the individual, according to a new study.

Although exercise improves blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, most people with diabetes do not engage in regular exercise, the authors write.

“Exercise and physical activity can help to control type 2 diabetes,” said lead author Dr. Romeu Mendes of the Public Health Unit in Vila Real, Portugal.

“There are many successful case-studies of patients who reversed metabolic dysfunction only with lifestyle strategies (exercise plus diet),” but the benefits disappear when healthy diet and regular exercise stop, he said, Reuters reported.

The researchers reviewed published recommendations or guidelines for exercise prescriptions for people with type 2 diabetes issued by international scientific organizations in the field of diabetology, endocrinology, cardiology, public health and sports medicine like the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, American Diabetes Association, Francophone Diabetes Society and Swedish National Institute of Health.

The guidelines agreed that people with type 2 diabetes should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise per week, spread over at least three days of the week, and also recommend resistance exercise at least twice weekly.

Exercise has indisputable life-saving benefits, but there is limited research on the benefits of exercise among people with diabetes.

“According to our previous research, there is a bias against testing exercise,” Mendes said. “Medical research increasingly favors drug interventions over strategies to modify lifestyle.”

“The vast majority of patients with type 2 diabetes do not engage in regular exercise This may be explained by insufficient awareness about the potential benefits of exercise and the lack of specific knowledge about current recommendations,” he noted.

Advising patients to increase their exercise levels is not enough, he said. Prescriptions should include specific information on the type, mode, duration, intensity and weekly frequency, and the exercise strategies must be adapted for each individual, based on other health conditions, contraindications and realistic personal goals.