A randomized controlled trial on the effects of combined aerobic-resistance exercise on muscle strength and fatigue, glycemic control and health-related quality of life of type 2 diabetes patients

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016 May;56(5):572-8.


Background: The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effects of a 12-weeks combined aerobic-resistance exercise therapy on fatigue and isokinetic muscle strength, glycemic control and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in moderately affected type 2 diabetes (T2DM) patients.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial design was employed. Forty-three T2DM patients were assigned to an exercise group (N.=22), performing 3 weekly sessions of 60 minutes of combined aerobic-resistance exercise for 12-weeks; or a no exercise control group (N.=21). Both groups were evaluated at a baseline and after 12-weeks of exercise therapy for: 1) muscle strength and fatigue by isokinetic dynamometry; 2) plasma glycated hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C); and 3) HRQoL utilizing the SF-36 questionnaire.

Results: The exercise therapy led to improvements in muscle fatigue in knee extensors (-55%) and increased muscle strength in knee flexors and extensors (+15 to +30%), while HbA1C decreased (-18%). In addition, the exercising patients showed sizeable improvements in HRQoL: physical function (+53%), vitality (+21%) and mental health (+40%).

Conclusions: Twelve-weeks of combined aerobic-resistance exercise was highly effective to improve muscle strength and fatigue, glycemic control and several aspects of HRQoL in T2DM patients. These data encourage the use of aerobic and resistance exercise in the good clinical care of T2DM.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Fatigue*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A