This finding coincides with research from 2010 which also claimed that exercise can "tame" type 2 diabetes.
Amy Huebshmann, from the University, said that exercise can actually help bring aging of type 2 diabetes patients closer to healthy individuals' aging rates.
The results of the study, which Huebshmann reached with Wendy Kohrt and Judith Regenteiner, from the same institution, will be presented at The Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting October 10-13 at the Westin Westminster Hotel in Westwinster, Colorado. This meeting is a collaboration between the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the American Physiological Society.
Huebshmann and team said that it is normal for people to stop exercising as much as they did when they were younger. The report stated that healthy adults' fitness levels are lowered by around 10% every 10 years after the age of about 40-50.
The findings revealed that type 2 diabetes patients have exercise levels that are 20% lower than healthy individuals, regardless of whether the patients were adolescent, middle-aged, or older.
Authors claimed that not only does type 2 diabetes reduce fitness levels at every stage of life by 20%, but daily life activities are hindered as well. Simple tasks such as going for walks may be difficult for these individuals.
This reduction in physical activity among type 2 diabetes patients increases their risk of death and early disability, says Heubschmann. She continues: "It means you might move into an institutionalized setting, such as an assisted living facility, much earlier."
Previous studies have suggested that there is some good news among these negative findings, because exercise can reduce the risk of early aging. Fitness levels among type 2 diabetes patients can be strengthened by up to 40% after 12 to 20 weeks of normal exercise. However, fitness standards did not increase to the levels of those in non-diabetics.
Huebschmann explained, "In other words, these defects are not necessarily permanent. They can be improved, which is great news."
The recent research by Heubschmann reiterates the importance of diabetics finding the motivation to exercise, and every bit of her findings provides optimism for patients who need to lower their risk of cardiovascular problems linked to diabetes.
Huebschmann said, however, that just because the research is presented does not mean that diabetics will jump at the chance to exercise for 150 minutes every week, the amount of exercise which is recommended by health professionals.
She continued: "People with diabetes are typically less physically active, but the majority of those patients say that their doctors toldthem to be active. There's a disconnect between what patients known they should do and what they actually do."
Their team is now working to discover methods of helping type 2 diabetics exercise and meet their fitness goals, whether it be sending the patients a text to remind them or other forms of motivating techniques.
The author concluded:
"Type 2 diabetes has a significant negative impact on health, but that impact can be improved with as simple an intervention as regular brisk walking or other physical activity that most people with diabetes can do."
Written by Christine Kearney