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The Effect of Exercise Training on Resting Metabolic Rate in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: August 2009 - Volume 41 - Issue 8 - p 1558-1565
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31819d6a6f
Clinical Sciences

Purpose: Exercise is a possible means to increase resting energy expenditure, which could offset age-related metabolic declines and facilitate weight management, both of which are particularly important for people who have type 2 diabetes mellitus. We sought to determine the effects of aerobic exercise training and resistance exercise training and the incremental effect of combined aerobic and resistance exercise training on resting metabolic rate (RMR) in previously sedentary individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: After a 4-wk run-in period, 103 participants (72 male, 31 female, 39-70 yr, mean ± SD body mass index = 32.9 ± 5.7 kg·m−2) were randomly assigned to four groups for 22 wk: aerobic training, resistance training, combined aerobic and resistance exercise training, or waiting-list control. Exercise training was performed three times per week at community-based gym facilities. RMR was measured by indirect calorimetry for 30 min after an overnight fast. Body composition was assessed using bioelectrical impedance. These measurements were taken at baseline, at 3 months, and at 6 months of the intervention.

Results: RMR did not change significantly in any group after accounting for multiple comparisons despite significant improvements in peak oxygen consumption and muscular strength in the exercising groups. Adjusting RMR for age, sex, fat mass, and fat-free mass in various combinations did not alter these results.

Conclusion: These results suggest that RMR was not significantly changed after a 6-month exercise program, regardless of modality, in this sample of adults with type 2 diabetes.

1Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA; 2Centre for Human and Environmental Physiology Research, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA; 3Departments of Medicine, Cardiac Sciences and Community Health Sciences, Faculties of Medicine and Kinesiology, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA; and 4Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA

Address for correspondence: Glen P. Kenny, Ph.D., School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, 125 University, Montpetit Hall, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5; E-mail:

Submitted for publication August 2008.

Accepted for publication January 2009.

© 2009 American College of Sports Medicine