May the force be with you: why resistance training is essential for subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus without complications
Physical activity, together with diet and pharmacological therapy, represents one of the three cornerstones in type 2 diabetes mellitus treatment and care. The therapeutic appeal of regular physical activity stems from: (i) its non-pharmacological nature; (ii) its beneficial effects on the metabolic risk factors associated with diabetes complications; (iii) its low costs. Evidence accumulated in the last years suggests that aerobic training—endurance training—constitutes a safe modality of intervention, achievable, and effective in diabetes treatment, whenever it is not limited by comorbidities. Aerobic training exerts insulin-mimetic effects and has been shown to lower mortality risk too. Anaerobic, intense physical activity, such as that of strength or power sports disciplines, is not univocally recognized as safe and simple to realize, however, it is important in stimulating energy and glucose metabolism. According to recent evidence, high-intensity training may be prescribed even in the face of cardiovascular diseases, peripheral vascular disease, or osteoarthritis. Some studies have shown resistance training to be more efficient than aerobic exercise in improving glycemic control. This review explores the most up-to-date indications emerging from literature in support of the beneficial effects of strength stimulation and resistance training in patients with type 2 diabetes without complications.
KeywordsResistance training Strength Type 2 diabetes Glycemic control
American College of Sports Medicine
American Diabetes Association
phosphorylated adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase
protein kinase B
calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II
body mass index
diabetes self-management education
Exercise and Sport Science Australia
glucose transporter 4
glycogen synthase kinase 3β
maximum heart rate
International Diabetes Federation
myocite enhancer factor 2
mammalian target of rapamycin
nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase
peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1α
progressive resistance training
one repetition maximum
type 1 diabetes
type 2 diabetes
tumor necrosis factor
therapeutic patient education
World Health Organization
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
All authors were responsible for drafting the manuscript and revising it critically for valuable intellectual content. All authors approved the version to be published.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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