And this is going to be fun.
The HART-2 study, conducted by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., presented last month in San Diego, prescribed 140 minutes per week combining light weight training with aerobic activity.
The results after nine months were lower rates of heart disease and eye complications, and a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level 34 percent lower than those who did either weight training or aerobics alone.
The CNN story on this featured a woman doing both light weights and a treadmill together, but you can easily do them separately.
The key is to work your muscles.
Timothy Church, who led the study, noted that the muscles are your biggest users of blood sugar, so improving the health of muscles helps control blood sugar levels.
I have been on a regimen like this for hypertension since early in the last decade, and what I've learned is that variety is not only key to results, but a key to staying on the regimen.
It's not just a question of doing both something aerobic or something with weights, or doing both simultaneously. The key is doing different things each day.
If you hit the same exercycle every morning you're very likely to quit.
But if you do it just once a week, walk once a week, use an elliptical machine once a week, do free weights once a week, do fixed weights once a week, and then enjoy a day outside walking, running or biking it all becomes pleasure.
The benefits are both long term and short term. I write better after exercise, and sleep better. My hypertension is also under control. More important I wake up each day thinking of what I'm going to do, rather than worrying about what disease is going to do to me.
One more tip. Try this with friends. If you don't have any, go to a gym, a church, a YMCA or your co-workers and make some. Tell your boss that if he supports this sort of thing he can lower his health care costs, too.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com