Exercise prescription for patients with type 2 diabetes-a synthesis of international recommendations: narrative review

Romeu Mendes, Nelson Sousa, António Almeida, Paulo Subtil, Fernando Guedes-Marques, Victor Machado Reis, José Luís Themudo-Barata
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2016, 50 (22): 1379-1381

BACKGROUND: Physical activity is a cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment and control.

AIM: We analysed and synthesised the guidelines and recommendations issued by scientific organisations, regarding exercise prescription for patients with type 2 diabetes.

METHOD: A systematic bibliographic search in Pubmed, Web of Science and Scopus databases was conducted. Clinical guidelines from major international scientific organisations in the field of diabetology, endocrinology, cardiology, public health and sports medicine were also considered. 11 publications were selected.

RESULTS: Published guidelines recommend a weekly accumulation of a minimum of 150 min of aerobic exercise at moderate-to-vigorous intensity spread over a minimum of 3 days per week. Resistance exercise for muscle strengthening is also recommended at least 2 days a week. Flexibility exercises may complement other types of exercise. Combining aerobic and resistance exercise within the same exercise session is recommended by most guidelines.

CONCLUSIONS: Exercise prescription for individuals with type 2 diabetes should include specific information on the type, mode, duration, intensity and weekly frequency. The exercise strategies must be adapted for each individual, based on comorbidities, contraindications and realistic personal goals.

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