Those at Risk for Diabetes Have to Exercise Harder to Achieve Same Results

While exercise can be an effective prevention strategy against developing type 2 diabetes, some people may have to work harder than others to reap its benefits.

A study from Lund University in Sweden found that people at risk for type 2 diabetes - by having an immediate relative with the condition - had to exercise harder than people without this type of risk factor to achieve the same results.

Having an immediate relative, like a mother, father or sibling, with the condition makes a person's diabetes risk about three times higher, the study reported.

Healthy? That may not matter

The study included 50 men in their 40s who were slightly overweight but completely healthy. Half of them had an immediate relative with type 2 diabetes while the other half did not.

Participants were offered three exercise classes per week, including spinning and aerobics, where their physical exertion and energy consumption was measured.

While both groups benefited from exercise - they lost weight, improved fitness levels and reduced their waist sizes - the men with higher diabetes risk factors were at a disadvantage.

"The difference was that participants from the risk group had to exercise more to achieve the same results as the participants from the control group," said study leader Ola Hansson.

More research is needed to determine why people at risk for type 2 diabetes - who are otherwise healthy - may need more physical activity to prevent things like weight gain or disease, the authors concluded.

Source: Lund University

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