For those of you new to HbA1c plasma-glucose-concentration test readings, they are represented as a percentage - and in healthy persons with normal blood-sugar, the reading will be roughly between 4% and 5.9%, and readings above 6.5% (or 7% depending on source) are considered indicative of Type 2 diabetes. And, "controls" in a study are like placebos - in this study they represent sedentary individuals.
With that in mind, here are some of the details (quite impressive for just 6-months of exercise) which include:
- A 0.51 percentage point HbA1c reduction in the aerobic exercise group versus controls
- A 0.38 percentage point HbA1c reduction in the resistance training [with weights] group compared with controls
- An additional 0.46 percentage point HbA1c reduction in the combined exercise group compared with aerobic training alone
- An additional 0.59 percentage point HbA1c reduction in the combined exercise group compared with resistance training alone
- I.e., patients who did both aerobic and resistance regimens more than doubled the benefit with a drop in HbA1c of 0.9 percentage points!
It's time to make exercise a part of your life if it isn't already. If you are living on a gluten-free diet already, you have demonstrated your ability to adhere to a lifestyle change that takes work and perseverance. You obviously have the resolve to take up and maintain a healthy exercise program - in fact, this should be rather easy compared to completely removing gluten from your diet! This study achieved its results through 45-minute/day exercise, with aerobic activity performed 3 times per week and weights/resistance-training another 3 days (for the combined maximum benefit to reduced blood sugar levels). It sounds like a lot, but it sure sounds better than a future filled with the risks and complications associated with high blood sugar (including heart disease, hypertension, vision loss, kidney damage, depression, and much more).
This study on exercise and blood-sugar control is particular to persons with Type 2 diabetes. When talking about Type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent), the exercise portion of the equation gets more difficult, as it can cause substantial swings in blood sugar that can be difficult to manage. Although Type 2 diabetes is no more prevalent among persons with Celiac Disease than the normal population, Type 1 diabetes risk is strongly correlated with Coeliac / Celiac Disease (aka Gluten Allergy, Gluten enteropathy, gluten-intolerance, etc) among adolescents --the risk is extremely high in fact, and another study concluded that Celiac Disease Triples the risk of Type 1 diabetes in children.
This new exercise study is fantastic information, and further validates how important an exercise regimen is to controlling blood-sugar and avoiding Type II diabetes (not to mention the other health benefits). And, whether you have Type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, or have normal blood sugar readings, everyone should consider some sort of exercise to make sure they don't allow their blood sugar to increase further over time. I do as I say, and I regularly exercise in an attempt to ensure optimal long-term health - now with even more scientific reinforcement of my actions. I'm hoping others can benefit from this as well.