A meta-analysis published in Acta Diabetologica suggests that 8-12 wk of aquatic exercise (AquaEx) could improve glycaemic control (A1C) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 9 studies (n=222) identified after a literature search on MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Sport Discus databases. Primary outcome was A1C for AquaEx vs land exercise (LandEx), AquaEx vs controls (no exercise), and pre- vs post-AquaEx training.
There was no significant difference in A1C between AquaEx and LandEx (weighted mean difference [WMD], −0.02% or −0.22 mmol/mol; P=.94). Compared with controls, there was an improvement in A1C after AquaEx (WMD, −0.96% or −10.49 mmol/mol; P=.04). There was a significant reduction in A1C from baseline after 8-12 wk of AquaEx (WMD, −0.48% or −5.25 mmol/mol; P<.00001).
"Our findings indicate that although AquaEx is comparable to LandEx in improving glycemic control, it is still better than no exercise. AquaEx enables participation in regular physical activity, with a reduced risk of acute injury or discomfort, and greater enjoyment," the authors commented.
"Patients with T2DM could definitely consider taking up AquaEx as an alternative, low impact form of exercise," the authors added.