Influence of combined aerobic and resistance training on metabolic control, cardiovascular fitness and quality of life in adolescents with type 1 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial

Clin Rehabil. 2011 Apr;25(4):349-59. doi: 10.1177/0269215510386254. Epub 2010 Nov 26.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of combined exercise training on metabolic control, physical fitness and quality of life in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Design: A double-blind randomized controlled trial with patients receiving combined aerobic and strength or no training.

Setting: University Hospital Ghent (Belgium).

Subjects: Sixteen children with type 1 diabetes were randomized into a control group (n = 8) and an intervention group (n = 8).

Interventions: Patients participated twice a week for 20 weeks in the combined aerobic and strength group. The control group continued their normal daily activities.

Main measures: Before and after the intervention anthropometric variables (weight, length, BMI, body composition), metabolic control (glycaemia, HbA1c, daily insulin injected), aerobic capacity (peak Vo(2), peak power, peak heart rate, 6-minute walk distance), strength (1 repetition maximum of upper and lower limb, hand grip strength, muscle fatigue resistance, sit-to-stand) and quality of life (SF-36) were assessed.

Results: At baseline, none of the measured parameters differed significantly between the two groups. There was no significant evolution in the groups concerning anthropometric indices, glycaemia and HbA1c. However, the daily doses of insulin injected were significantly lowered in the training group (0.96 IU/ pre versus 0.90 IU/ post; P < 0,05), while it was increased in the control group. Physical fitness increased significantly in the training group. General health, vitality and role emotional had a tendency to improve.

Conclusion: Combined exercise training seemed to lower daily insulin requirement and improve physical fitness, together with better well-being.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Belgium
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Metabolism / physiology
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Resistance Training*
  • Sickness Impact Profile


  • Insulin