(HealthDay News) – For patients with type 2 diabetes, aerobic training and resistance training both result in improved metabolic features, insulin sensitivity, and reduced abdominal fat, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Diabetes Care.

Elisabetta Bacchi, PhD, of the University of Verona in Italy, and associates evaluated the effects of aerobic and resistance training on hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and metabolic risk factors in 40 patients with type 2 diabetes.

After four months of intervention, the researchers found that the increase in peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) was greater in the aerobic group (time-by-group interaction P=0.045), while strength increased more in the resistance group (time-by-group interaction P<0.0001). HbA1c was reduced to a similar extent in both groups (−0.40% in the aerobic group vs. −0.35% in the resistance group). Total and truncal fat, and visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue were reduced to a similar extent in both groups, and there were similar increases in both groups in insulin sensitivity and lean limb mass. In multivariate analyses, baseline HbA1c and changes in VO2peak and truncal fat independently predicted improvement in HbA1c after training.

“Resistance training, similarly to aerobic training, improves metabolic features and insulin sensitivity and reduces abdominal fat in type 2 diabetic patients,” the authors write.

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