"Type 2 diabetes is an increasing problem in Western societies and is associated with increased rates of overweight and obesity," said review co-author Dr. Elizabeth Elliott of the University of Sydney and Children's Hospital at Westmead.
The researchers reviewed data from 14 randomized controlled trials, included a total of 377 participants. The average age range in studies was 45 to 65 years with slightly more men than women. All participants had type 2 diabetes, and the only difference between groups was that they were assigned to either no exercise or to a prescribed exercise regime.
The types of exercise programs in each study varied, but resistance training and aerobic workouts were the most common.
Blood-glucose levels dropped as did levels of blood triglycerides for those who exercised, according to the review in The Cochrane Library.