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Structured weight loss programs can help individuals with diabetes significantly improve their HbA1c tests scores and lead to major gains in blood sugar control, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre researchers who conducted the study said that exercise has long been considered cornerstone of diabetes management. However, it was unclear what type of routine was most effective.
After analyzing the results of 47 previous studies, the researchers found that both aerobic and weight training programs led to improvements in HbA1c test results. Combinations of the two types of exercise also had benefits. The only catch was that these programs must be accompanied by dietary improvements.
"Combined physical activity advice and dietary advice was associated with decreased HbA1c as compared with control participants. Physical activity advice alone was not associated with HbA1c changes," the researchers wrote in their report.
Improving blood sugar control may help individuals with diabetes avoid some of the health complications that are often associated with the disease.
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