Exercise prescription and the patient with type 2 diabetes: A clinical approach to optimizing patient outcomes

Gregory R. Waryasz, Ann Yelmokas McDermott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To review the current recommendations for physical activity in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and propose methods to optimize compliance, reduce the pharmaceutical burden, and improve the general health and well-being of patients with T2DM.Data sources: PubMed, SportDiscus, Ovid MEDLINE, Psychinfo, Web of Science, LexisNexis, and EBM reviews.Conclusions: T2DM is a condition in which physical activity has been documented to improve patient outcomes, yet research has noted that healthcare professionals inadequately address this issue, resulting in physical activity being an underutilized therapy.Implications for practice: An exercise prescription consists of mode (type), frequency, intensity, duration, and progression. Determining the appropriate mode depends upon patient preference and safety issues regarding the state of T2DM or other conditions. Frequency, intensity, and duration are specific to the type of activity and should be tailored to the patient's abilities to safely perform the activity. Finally, the health professional addresses periodic progression in order to maintain the exercise stimulus needed to promote continued health improvements and prevent " plateauing." In this article, on the basis of the current scientific research, we propose recommendations that enable healthcare professionals to advocate for their patients with T2DM by offering safe and effective treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-227
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Activities of daily living (ADL)
  • Diabetes type 2
  • Diet
  • Disease prevention
  • Elderly
  • Exercise
  • Fracture risk
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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