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Weights plus walking equals more fit in less time

Nov 24, 2010

Walkers who squeeze a bit of light weight training into their workout get more bang for their buck in terms of being fit and trim without increasing their total workout time, according to a new study of sedentary people with type 2 diabetes.

What's more, those who mixed up their workouts showed the greatest improvement in blood sugar control after nine months, says Timothy S. Church, MD, Ph.D., of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who led the study.

"Our findings really support the 2008 federal physical activity guidelines, and our findings support those guidelines for everybody," Church says.

These guidelines recommend people get at least 150 minutes of walking or 75 minutes of running a week, along with two or more days a week of resistance training.

Health.com: Could you have Type 2? 10 diabetes symptoms

And that two days a week means a couple of 15- to 20-minute sessions on weight-training machines in the gym.

"It's actually a pretty quick undertaking," Church says.

Although exercise has long been recommended for people with diabetes because it can lower blood sugar almost as much as some medications, the best "prescription" for physical activity hasn't been determined, Church and his colleagues write in the November 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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