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Statement Stresses Importance of Exercise in Diabetes

Physical activity important for both preventing type 2 diabetes, reducing symptoms

FRIDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- People who engage in regular physical activity (PA) may reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and people with T2DM may reduce symptoms and complications and increase quality of life by participating in regular PA, according to a statement published in the December issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

A joint committee of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association compiled a position statement to stress the importance -- now well-established in high-quality studies -- of exercise and fitness for controlling symptoms and improving outcomes in people with T2DM.

According to the statement, a combination of PA and weight loss can lower the risk for T2DM by 58 percent in high-risk populations, and regular PA improves blood glucose, lipid profiles, and blood pressure; reduces cardiovascular events and mortality; and improves quality of life. The authors note that most of the benefits PA provides for diabetes management are a result of acute and chronic improvements in insulin action, which is accomplished with resistance and aerobic training.

"Exercise plays a major role in the prevention and control of insulin resistance, prediabetes, gestational diabetes mellitus, T2DM, and diabetes-related health complications," the authors write. "The inclusion of an exercise program or other means of increasing overall PA is critical for optimal health in individuals with T2DM."

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