Exercise doesn’t always help those with Type 2 diabetes

By Laura Mize • Published: February 6th, 2015
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Exercise is touted as a way to improve the body’s chances in the fight against many diseases.

Work out regularly and you can help prevent or mitigate the effects of many conditions, such as some cancer, heart disease, obesity, arthritis … the list goes on. But new research seems to show that exercise doesn’t reduce blood sugar for some people suffering from Type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, which keeps glucose, or sugar, at a normal level in the bloodstream.

Florida researchers reviewed a collection of existing studies involving supervised exercise routines for people with Type 2 diabetes. They say the studies together reveal that about 20 percent of study participants with the disease did not see an improvement in their metabolism … or a reduction in blood sugar … after adopting such a routine. Exercise commonly benefits people by burning fat and increasing their sensitivity to insulin.

For the 20 percent, however, none of these advantages of exercise became a reality.

This lack of metabolic response to physical activity is commonly called exercise “resistance.” It is not a new discovery, although it has not been extensively studied.

To gain a better overall view of the subject, the Florida researchers also looked at numerous existing studies that explored a link between genetics and exercise resistance. The research, they say, shows a person may inherit his or her bodily response to exercise.

Based on one study in particular, the researchers speculate that future advances may make it possible to diagnose exercise resistance in people according to their genes.

They even say science may one day provide a way for people with exercise resistance to get past the problem and reap the benefits of their workouts. Now that would call for a round of celebratory push-ups.