WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Resistance training (RT) may be a viable option for patients with prediabetes seeking to prevent or delay progression to type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews.

Xia Dai, from the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University in Nanning, China, and colleagues evaluated the long-term effects of aerobic training (AT), RT, and combined training (AT + RT) on the prevention of T2D incidence in 137 patients with prediabetes. Participants (mean age, 59 years; 45 men and 92 women) were randomly assigned to one of the supervised exercise programs for 60 minutes per day for three nonconsecutive days per week for 24 months.

The researchers found that after 24 months, the incidences of T2D adjusted by sex and age were significantly lower — by 74 percent in the AT + RT group, 65 percent in the RT group, and 72 percent in the AT group versus the control group (hazard ratios: AT + RT, 0.26; RT, 0.35; AT, 0.28). Additionally, blood glucose and lipid profiles showed greater improvement in the AT, RT, and AT + RT groups than in the control group.

“We showed that RT is a viable option for patients seeking to prevent or delay T2D,” the authors write. “This finding further expands established paradigms of lifestyle change for preventing T2D and can inform clinician-patient discussions about delaying disease onset.”

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