Effects of Physical Activity on Diabetes Management and Lowering Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Authors: Tompkins, Connie L.; Soros, Arlette; Sothern, Melinda S.; Vargas, Alfonso

Source: American Journal of Health Education, 1 September 2009, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 286-290(5)


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Physical activity is a proven form of diabetes management and is considered a cornerstone in the prevention of diabetes. In children with diabetes, physical activity may improve insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Aerobic-based physical activity lasting 40-60 minutes daily for a minimum of four months is shown to enhance insulin sensitivity, and may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. An important adjunct to aerobic-based physical activity for diabetes prevention is resistance training. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports properly supervised strength/resistance training as a safe method for strength development in preadolescent children. Resistance training may increase skeletal muscle mass, therefore increasing whole-body glucose disposal capacity. In addition to immediate health benefits during childhood, increased physical activity in children and adolescents is likely to contribute to the establishment of healthy leisure habits over a lifetime and improved adult cardiovascular health. Large-scale intervention studies, however, are needed to determine the most effective physical activity strategies for prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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