Murdoch study to examine benefits of exercise in managing diabetes

Murdoch study to examine benefits of exercise in managing diabetes

THE benefits of exercise for people living with type 2 diabetes are well established but a new Murdoch University study seeks to uncover whether daily, moderate intensity walking is a viable method to manage the condition.

The work of PhD student Aaron Raman and his supervisor Dr Timothy Fairchild, the study has shown promising early results, with participants exhibiting substantially lower circulating glucose levels, improved cardiovascular fitness and body composition.

“We are interested in assessing the effect of exercise on the body’s ability to control higher levels of glucose and whether the immune system is involved in the control of blood glucose,” Mr Raman said.

“What’s novel here is the frequency of exercise; this study is different to previous studies in that we are assessing a short-term, two-week walking intervention.

“We are interested in seeing whether this more intense training period is effective, as classic training studies and advice generally consists of two or three sessions per week.”

Mr Raman said he was interested in the cumulative effect of exercise for people with type 2 diabetes, particularly for those that were not generally active.

“Someone with type 2 diabetes that is previously sedentary and overweight may be unaccustomed to regular exercise,” he said.

“The contraction of muscle during exercise promotes the use of glucose, which is taken up by the working muscle as a fuel source.

“Instead of resting for a few days after exercise, the use of consecutive sessions encourages the continued use of glucose, thereby increasing the muscle’s efficiency to use glucose as an energy source.”

Mr Raman is appealing for trial participants aged 18 to 65 who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, have a body mass index of 27 or higher and are not using insulin injections.

“Eligible participants will follow a two-week treadmill walking training program tailored for each individual,” he said.

“Pre- and post-training assessments include a free body composition scan, glucose tolerance assessment and a cardio-respiratory fitness test.”

For more information or to take part, contact Mr Raman on a.raman@murdoch.edu.au or 0434 989 123.

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