Exercise can reduce the level of health risk in people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, merely advising patients to exercise is not enough – appropriate screening and management are required to ensure the safety and efficacy of the prescribed exercise program.
- Lifestyle intervention involving regular exercise reduces the risk of adults with prediabeties progressing to type 2 diabetes.
- Regular aerobic or resistance exercise, either alone or in combination, can improve glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes. Improvements are superior for people who achieve or exceed current exercise guidelines.
- Regular exercise also improves common comorbidities in type 2 diabetes (e.g. hypertension, dyslipidaemia, abdominal fatness and mental health).
- Providing people only with advice to engage in exercise is associated with poor patient adherence and has little effect on markers of glucose control.
- Appropriate pre-exercise screening and management of comorbidities and medication interactions is required for safe and effective exercise programs for people with type 2 diabetes, including blood glucose management during and after exercise.
- Referral to an accredited exercise physiologist is recommended before starting a new exercise regimen, or significantly changing a current one. This includes consideration of comorbidities and diabetes complications such as and microvascular disease, when exercise may need to be modified or is contraindicated.