Patients with type 2 diabetes should do at least two-and-a-half hours per week of moderate-intensity or one-and-a-half hours per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercises, plus some weight training, to reduce their cardiovascular risk, researchers suggest.
"Given the observed increases in type 2 diabetes in adults over the last few decades in developed countries, and the increasing numbers of overweight and obese individuals throughout the world, we must look at ways to reduce the cardiovascular complications of diabetes, and exercise is one of those ways," said Thomas H. Marwick, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and director of the Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease at the University of Queensland School of Medicine in Brisbane, Australia.
According to an American Heart Association scientific statement, diet and exercise can prevent or slow the development of type 2 diabetes and produce clinically significant improvements in blood sugar control and cardiovascular risk factors in people with the condition.
To improve cardiovascular risk, type 2 diabetes patients should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 90 min/week of vigorous-intensity exercise, or some combination of the two.
Patients should exercise on at least three non-consecutive days each week to maximize benefits. Individual sessions should be at least 10 minutes each or longer.
Resistance training should be encouraged, and should be moderate- to high-intensity - 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions at a weight that can't be lifted more than 8-10 times, with 1-2-minute rest periods between sets.
Exercise counseling is needed to assess and adjust levels of physical activity and provide motivation and support. Telephone counselling is economical, practical and effective.
The statement was published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.