Research has shown that aerobic and resistance exercise may improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. However, aerobic exercise may become limited with diabetes and its complications. Additionally, access to weight training equipment may not be available for all older adults because of cost and other constraints. Therefore, using elastic resistance (tube or band) is often suggested as a good alternative for home-based strength training among older adults including those with T2DM due to its low cost, simplicity, portability, and versatility. To test this theory, a recent study measured the effectiveness of a 16-week home-based progressive resistance training (PRT) program using a resistance tube in older adults with type 2 diabetes.
The number of people with diabetes is increasing. Recent statistics show that approximately 34.2 million Americans (or 10.5% of the population) has diabetes — 90-95% with type 2 diabetes. The percentage is higher in older adults (age 65 and older) at 26.8% (or 14.3 million).
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes less sensitive to and eventually no longer responds to the hormone insulin (insulin resistance). Initially, the body increases insulin production to make up for insulin resistance, but over time, the body wears out and eventually loses the ability to produce insulin. There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can be controlled with medications and a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating and exercise.
The study included 70 participants (average age 62 years) with type 2 diabetes. They were divided into two groups an intervention group (n = 35) and a control group (n = 35). The intervention group underwent 16 weeks of home-based progressive resistance training program using a resistance tube.
Based on the study, the researchers found the following results:
· Significant improvements in Hemoglobin A1c (−1.34% point), fasting blood glucose (−1.30 mmol/L), and systolic blood pressure (−1.42 mmHg) were observed after 16 weeks of intervention.
· No significant changes were observed in lipid profile, diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate, and ankle– brachial index (a test for peripheral artery disease).
The results suggest that 16 weeks of home-based progressive resistance training using a resistance tube has the potential to improve blood sugar control and reduce blood pressure among older adults with type 2 diabetes with no adverse events.