Aims: To assess whether aerobic or resistance training has greater benefits in non-physically active men with a long lasting type 1 diabetes. The effects of exercise were evaluated in terms of diabetes control and risk factors for cardiovascular complications.
Methods: 21 male participants (mean age: 37 yrs, diabetes duration: 23 yrs, mean HbA1c: 7.4%) randomly assigned to 2 groups: 1-aerobic training (n = 10) and 2-resistance training (n = 11). All subjects participated in 60-min training sessions, either aerobic or resistance, twice a week for three months. At baseline and after 3 months: echocardiography, ECG and incremental exercise test, ECG and blood pressure monitoring, lipid profile, lactate and diabetes control parameters were assessed in all patients.
Results: Baseline HbA1c was 7.44% in aerobic group and 7.36% in resistance group (p = 0.84). After 3 months there was no significant change in HbA1c value in any exercise group but a non-statistically significant downward trend was seen particularly in aerobic exercise group (p = 0.07) vs the resistance group (p = 0.15). There was no significant difference in body mass, risk of hypoglycemia and cardiovascular risk factors.
Conclusions: Both forms of exercise are safe in terms of glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in patients with quite well-controlled type 1 diabetes without advanced late complications.
Keywords: Aerobic training; Resistance training; Type 1 diabetes.
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