JAMA Publishes Pennington Biomedical Research Center Findings Demonstrating the Combination of Aerobic and Resistance Training Helpful to Diabetics

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Released: Tuesday, November 23, 2010

JAMA Publishes Pennington Biomedical Research Center Findings Demonstrating the Combination of Aerobic and Resistance Training Helpful to Diabetics - 11.23.2010

JAMABATON ROUGE, LA - Performing a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training was associated with improved glycemic levels among patients with type 2 diabetes, compared to patients who did not exercise, according to a study in the November 24 issue of JAMA. The level of improvement was not seen among patients who performed either aerobic exercise or resistance training alone.

The study was conducted by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) in a clinical trial study called HART-D.

Although it is generally accepted that regular exercise provides substantial health benefits for individuals with type 2 diabetes, the exact exercise type (aerobic vs. resistance vs. both) has been unclear. “Given that the 2008 Federal Physical Activity Guidelines recommend aerobic exercise in combination with resistance training, the unanswered question as to whether for a given amount of time the combination of aerobic and resistance exercise is better than either alone has significant clinical and public health importance,” according to researchers at PBRC.

Dr. Timothy ChurchTimothy S. Church, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., lead researcher and director of preventive medicine research, and colleagues at PBRC conducted the trial among 262 sedentary women and men with type 2 diabetes the effect of aerobic training, resistance training, and a combination of both on change in hemoglobin A1c levels. The individuals were enrolled in the 9-month exercise program between April 2007 and August 2009. Forty-one participants were assigned to the non-exercise control group; 73 to resistance training sessions; 72 to aerobic exercise sessions; and 76 to a combination of aerobic and resistance training.

The primary finding from this randomized, controlled exercise trial involving individuals with type 2 diabetes is that although both resistance and aerobic training provide benefits, only the combination of the two provides the reductions in HbA1c levels.

The National Institutes of Health provided grant funding for the study.


For the full study, click here.

For More Information Contact:
Angela deGravelles

Dr. Timothy Church


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.