Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. This randomized pilot study demonstrates that fasting blood glucose (FBG), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), body mass index (BMI), and body fat percentage (BFP) were significantly improved with aerobic training, strength training, or combined aerobic plus strength training, compared with the control group in patients with T2DM.

2. The combined exercise intervention was the most successful in altering these parameters.

Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)

Diabetes mellitus affects 382 million adults globally, projected to increase to 439 million by 2030, with 85–95% being T2DM. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for T2DM and its complications, making physical activity a vital non-pharmacological treatment. This pilot trial assesses various exercise modalities (aerobic, resistance, and combined) against a control group, aiming to compare their effectiveness in the improvement of blood glucose, blood pressure, and body composition among T2DM patients. 40 participants were recruited and randomly assigned to the aerobic training group (ATG: n = 10), resistance training group (RTG: n = 10), combined training group (resistance plus aerobic; CTG: n = 10), and control group (CG: n = 10). All intervention groups experienced significant (P<0.005) improvements in FBG (mean difference, -13.03; p < 0.001), SBP (21.63 mmHg; p < 0.001), DBP (11.86 mmHg; p < 0.001) and (BFP 9.14; p < 0.001) from pre- to post-test, but there was no significance differences in control group. ANCOVA with a Post hoc test was used to determine which training intervention had the greatest impact relative to the control group. All three interventions demonstrated significant differences compared with the control group for FBG, SBP, DBP, BMI and BFP (p < 0.001). Generally, combined training more significantly reduced BMI, FBG, SBP, DBP and BFP compared to the control group. These results remained consistent after controlling for diet, gender, and age, suggesting that the observed benefits were primarily attributable to the exercise interventions. Overall, these findings demonstrate regular physical exercise positively affects blood glucose control, blood pressure, and body composition in patients with T2DM, with combined aerobic plus resistance exercise emerging as the most effective in enhancing these parameters.

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