Exercise: A Powerful Tool to Manage Type 2 Diabetes in the Ageing Population

*Silvano Zanuso

Technogym Medical Scientific Department, University of Greenwich, London, UK
*Correspondence to szanuso@gmail.com

Disclosure: No potential conflict of interest.
Received: 28.04.14 Accepted: 21.07.14
Citation: EMJ Diabet. 2014;2:99-104.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to highlight the evidence on the interrelationships between exercise and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the ageing population. The evidence addressed in the specific literature is presented in three domains: aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, and combined aerobic and resistance exercise. The effects of aerobic exercise are well established, but in the ageing population resistance training could be considered a superior intervention to help glycaemic control; the effects of resistance training on insulin sensitivity are attributable to an increase in muscle mass. Thus, although with resistance training body weight does not change much, the main effect of resistance training on body composition of the elderly should be a shift from fat to muscle mass, and the maintenance of a large muscle mass may reduce obesity related risk factors. Fewer studies have investigated the effects of combined resistance and aerobic training, but from the available evidences it would appear that combined exercise training seems to offer additional benefits if compared with aerobic training alone and resistance training alone.

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