Journal List > J Korean Diabetes > v.12(1) > 1054808

Han: Exercise in the Elderly with Diabetes


The prevalences of diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance increase with age. Older diabetic patients show reduced physical function compared with that of non-diabetics of the same age as a result of multifactorial impairment that includes visual deterioration, peripheral neuropathy and balance problems. Even though limited data are available on the role of exercise in the treatment of type 2 diabetes in the elderly, there are many studies about the beneficial effects of exercise on glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and lipid panel. Therefore exercise is generally recommended for the management of diabetic patients. The ADA recommends at least 150 min/week of moderate aerobic exercise spread out over at least three days, with no more than two consecutive days between bouts of aerobic activity. In addition to aerobic training, persons with type 2 diabetes should undertake moderate resistance training at least 2-3 days/week. Exercise in older diabetic patients should be undertaken in moderation and increased gradually over time.


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Table 1.
Summary of randomized trials on exercise in elderly subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus
Study Program content/Duration (wk) No. Age (yr)a Effectsa Reference
1 2 sessions/wk (gymnasium)+ 14 59.0 ± 1.4 ↑VO2max 15.7% [6]
1 session/wk (home) (104 wk) Glucose: no change
2 1 session/wk (12 wk) + 64 62.4 ± 5.9 ↓ Weight 2.8% [8]
2 sessions/wk (12 wk) ↓Hb A1c 1.1%
3 3 sessions/wk (16 wk) 39 69.3 ± 4.2 ↓OGTT glucose AUC [9]
↑ Total time on the treadmill
4 3 sessions/wk (12 wk, supervised) + 58 62 ± 5 ↑VO2max 9.6% [7]
3 sessions/wk (14 wk, non-supervised) Hb A1c: no change

a , In the experimental group.

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