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Diabetes Care. 2012 Apr;35(4):669-75. doi: 10.2337/dc11-1844. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Effects of performing resistance exercise before versus after aerobic exercise on glycemia in type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Human and Environmental Physiology Research Unit, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



To determine the effects of exercise order on acute glycemic responses in individuals with type 1 diabetes performing both aerobic and resistance exercise in the same session.


Twelve physically active individuals with type 1 diabetes (HbA(1c) 7.1 ± 1.0%) performed aerobic exercise (45 min of running at 60% V(O(2peak))) before 45 min of resistance training (three sets of eight, seven different exercises) (AR) or performed the resistance exercise before aerobic exercise (RA). Plasma glucose was measured during exercise and for 60 min after exercise. Interstitial glucose was measured by continuous glucose monitoring 24 h before, during, and 24 h after exercise.


Significant declines in blood glucose levels were seen in AR but not in RA throughout the first exercise modality, resulting in higher glucose levels in RA (AR = 5.5 ± 0.7, RA = 9.2 ± 1.2 mmol/L, P = 0.006 after 45 min of exercise). Glucose subsequently decreased in RA and increased in AR over the course of the second 45-min exercise bout, resulting in levels that were not significantly different by the end of exercise (AR = 7.5 ± 0.8, RA = 6.9 ± 1.0 mmol/L, P = 0.436). Although there were no differences in frequency of postexercise hypoglycemia, the duration (105 vs. 48 min) and severity (area under the curve 112 vs. 59 units ⋅ min) of hypoglycemia were nonsignificantly greater after AR compared with RA.


Performing resistance exercise before aerobic exercise improves glycemic stability throughout exercise and reduces the duration and severity of postexercise hypoglycemia for individuals with type 1 diabetes.

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