To assess the effects of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and resistance training on metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components in a post hoc analysis of the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study, a randomized controlled lifestyle counseling trial.
A cohort of 486 middle-aged overweight men and women with impaired glucose tolerance were followed for an average of 4.1 years. The intervention and control groups were combined in the analyses. LTPA was assessed by questionnaires, dietary intake by food records, and features of the MetS by anthropometric and biochemical measures annually. Resistance training sessions were documented for 137 participants.
Increased moderate-to-vigorous LTPA, even after adjustments for changes in dietary intakes of total and saturated fat, fiber, and energy, and change in BMI was associated with a greater likelihood for resolution (29.7 vs. 19.1%; P = 0.004 in the upper versus lower third of change) and a lesser likelihood for development (23.5 vs. 44.7%; P = 0.041) of the MetS. Of the components of the MetS, the increase in moderate-to-vigorous LTPA was associated most strongly with improvement of glycemia. Among the 137 participants who participated in resistance training, MetS components were favorable in individuals who were in the upper third of participation rate (median 51 times/year) compared with individuals in the lowest third (median 8.5 times/year).
Increased moderate-to-vigorous LTPA was associated with a decreased likelihood of developing the MetS and an increased likelihood of its resolution in individuals at high risk for type 2 diabetes.
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