(NaturalNews) A combination of weight training and aerobic exercise may be more effective than either type of exercise alone in staving off Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Researchers divided 251 Type-2-diabetes patients between the ages of 39 and 70 who were not regular exercisers before the study began into four groups: one that continued to do no exercise, one that did 45 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week, one that did 45 minutes of weight (resistance) training three times per week, and one that did 45 minutes of each type of exercise three times per week (i.e., a total of 4.5 hours of exercise per week).
The participants' A1c values (blood sugar concentration) were measured over the course of two or three months. Participants in the single exercise group demonstrated a decline of approximately 0.5 percentage points, while those in the dual exercise group demonstrated a 0.97 percentage point decline. Those in the control (no exercise) group demonstrated no change in A1c values.
According to lead researcher Ronald J. Sigal, a decrease of 1 percentage point of A1c "translates to a 15 to 20 percent reduction in risk of heart attack or stroke and a 25 to 40 percent reduced risk of other [diabetes-related] complications."
It has long been known that "exercise decreases insulin resistance," Sigal said. "It makes the transport of glucose [blood sugar] more efficient."
But "most other studies have looked at just one kind of exercise, either aerobic or resistance."
It remains unclear how much of the increased blood sugar benefit in the dual exercise group came from the combination of exercises, and how much came from the fact that people in that group were exercising more than the participants in any other group.