Aerobic training programs and glycemic control in diabetic children in relation to exercise frequency

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011 Sep;51(3):393-400.


Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of an aerobic training on glycemic control and lipid profile in diabetic children.

Methods: Thirty-three children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) were equally divided in three groups. The control group (CG) did not perform any training intervention during the period of the investigation and the subjects were instructed to continue with their daily lifestyle patterns. The second group (G1) and the third group (G2) completed a six-month aerobic training programs. During the period of the investigation, G1 participated in one daily session (~60 min) of aerobic exercise twice weekly, while G2 performed in the form of daily session four times a week (~60 min). HbA1c and lipid profile were measured before training intervention, then after three and six months.

Results: The three-month periods was without significant changes of HbA1c in the two groups but significantly increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in G1 (P<0.05). In G2, an increase of HDL-C was accompanied by a decrease of serum triglyceride (TG) (P<0.05). After six months, only HDL-C and TG levels were significantly lower in G1 (P<0.01), while in G2 HDL-C increased (68.8±5.7 mg/dL vs. 56.7 ±7.2 mg/dL; P<0.01), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (69.2±8.5 mg/dL vs. 81.6±11.8 mg/dL; P<0.01), TG concentrations decreased (60.7±6.9 mg/dL vs. 77.4±9.3 mg/dL; P<0.01) and HbA1c was significantly lower (6.8±1.1% vs. 8.2±1.5%; P<0.05), comparatively to those before training.

Conclusion: However, the six-month periods showed that children exercising more than two times weekly significantly improved HbA1c and lipid profile. These results must encourage children with T1DM to regularly practice sporty activities for long periods.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / metabolism*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Triglycerides
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human