Although regular physical activity is an integral part of T2D management, few diabetic patients have a sufficient level of physical activity. However over the past decade or so, the beneficial effects of regular physical activity have been well demonstrated, both in T2D prevention (50% reduction in the incidence of T2D in subjects with high metabolic risk) as well as T2D management for the improvement of glycaemic control (mean 0.7% improvement of HbA1c) and the reduction of T2D-related comorbidities (improvement in blood pressure values and lipid profile, decrease in insulin resistance). Physical activity has both acute effects (effects of one exercise session) and more prolonged effects of exercise when it is repeated on a regular basis (training effect). In addition, the physical activity recommendations have been extended to a wide range of physical activities (by combining both endurance and muscle strengthening exercises), thus varying the physical activity practiced according to the patient's available time, practice sites, preferences and interests. Following a pathophysiology review, the effects of physical activity will be discussed and presented in terms of evidence-based medicine. The recommendations will be defined and practical prescribing information will be suggested, while taking into account that clinicians are concerned with answering questions regarding how, where and with whom: how can patients be motivated to practice a physical activity over the long-term? And how can qualified exercise trainers and appropriate practice settings be found?
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