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Guidelines Issued for Exercise Training for Diabetics

Scientific statement recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity

TUESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes, exercise is essential because it significantly reduces cardiovascular risks, according to an American Heart Association Scientific Statement published online June 8 in Circulation.

Writing on behalf of the American Heart Association Exercise, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and Prevention Committee of the Council on Clinical Cardiology, Thomas H. Marwick, M.D., of the University of Queensland in Australia, and colleagues discuss how exercise is important in diabetes management, analyze current evidence concerning exercise interventions, and issue practical recommendations about exercise preparation, safety issues and training programs, as well as specific exercise training guidelines based on data from several large-scale, randomized, controlled trials.

To reduce cardiovascular risks, the authors recommend that diabetics receive at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 90 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise. They also encourage diabetics to incorporate resistance training into their exercise regimen. For optimal benefits, they said that diabetics should train on at least three nonconsecutive days per week.

"Exercise training should be implemented long term, with telephone exercise counseling identified as a strategy that is economical, practical, and effective," the authors conclude. "This counseling provides the opportunity to assess exercise levels, adjust exercise prescriptions, and provide motivation and support. Contact frequency can decrease over time, because maintenance of initial high-frequency contact may not be necessary."

Several authors reported financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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