Future directions for research

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It seems clear that regular exercise/physical activity has beneficial effects both for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Particularly promising areas of research are: (a) the most effective amounts and intensities of exercise that lead to these benefits in individuals with diabetes; (b) investigating the unique role that resistance-training exercise may have on insulin sensitivity and metabolic syndrome; and (c) the interactions between exercise, environment, and genetics. We are currently in the early phases of a study of the separate and combined effects of aerobic and resistance exercise on individuals with aspects of the metabolic syndrome (central obesity, dyslipidemia, and sedentary lifestyle). We anticipate that such lines of investigation hold great promise for improving our effectiveness in diagnosing individuals with metabolic syndrome on the road to type 2 diabetes and in ultimately preventing its development in susceptible individuals.

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