While physical activity and exercise remain cornerstones for the management of type 2 diabetes, many people struggle with low levels of daily activity. One contributing factor is lower limb pain and osteoarthritis, limiting participation in regular physical activity. Aquatic-based exercise programs include, but are not limited to, swimming, water stretching, water walking and strengthening exercises. During these types of aquatic-based activities, individuals experience less weight-bearing stress and added resistance, a reduced likelihood of pain, and an overall enhanced comfort during movement because of the buoyancy of the water.
APEXD was developed in response to a need for alternative, more comfortable physical activity options for people with type 2 diabetes and mobility limitations. The program is a three-month aquatic-based exercise program, led by a certified exercise specialist trained in aquatic-exercise program leadership and held twice per week over three months at the Leduc Recreational Centre. The main study goals were to examine the impact of aquatic exercise on glycemic control [hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)], functional status and quality of life outcomes.
Since there is little evidence for an alternative mode of exercise that is safe and less painful for individuals who are physically limited in their options due to conditions such as osteoarthritis, this research will contribute to strengthening and informing the evidence-base for practice guidelines regarding exercise and active living for adults with type 2 diabetes
For more information on APEXD, please watch this short promotional video.
Aquatic Physical EXercise for osteoarthritis and Diabetes (APEXD)
Johnson ST, Mundt C, Qiu W, Boule N, Jorgensen L, Bell G, Vallance JK, Taylor L, Eshghi SR, Johnson JA. Changes in functional status after aquatic exercise for adults with type 2 diabetes and arthritis: A Pilot Study. Activities, Adaptations & Aging 2019:43(1);65-75. PMID: n/a
Rees J, Johnson ST, Boulé N. Aquatic exercise for adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A meta-analysis. Acta Diabetologica. 2017 Oct;54(10):895-904. PMID: 28691156