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Thera-Band? Elastic Resistance Bands Support Diabetes Care

Toronto News, (PR) April 29, 2012

Through a recent donation of Thera-Band? Professional Resistance Exercise Bands, Performance Health supported a Canadian best practice initiative to implement an evidence-based, theory-driven resource to address the challenges of physical activity counseling in diabetes clinical practice.

The Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia identified the need to develop physical activity resources as a best practice initiative and key component of quality diabetes care. With researchers from Acadia University, the Diabetes Physical Activity and Exercise Toolkit was developed and is being adopted by the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) as the third volume in a suite of manuals on building competency in diabetes education professional resources.

Thera-Band products were used in the two research projects that validated the effectiveness of the toolkit, now adopted by the Canadian Diabetes Association as Building Competency in Diabetes Education volume 3: Physical Activity and Exercise Professional Resource Manual.

Diabetes educators in Canada are primarily dieticians and nurses who typically do not have formal training in exercise even though the primary intervention to prevent and manage diabetes is diet and exercise, stated Jonathon Fowles, PhD, CSEP-CEP, CSCS, Professor, School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology, Acadia University. The lack of exercise knowledge in diabetes centers across the country provided the impetus to develop an education program that would increase the clinicians confidence in prescribing exercise. Giving them immediate access to a Thera-Band band was an effective way to get them to understand and appreciate the benefits of resistance exercise quickly. The significant outcomes of our work are the diabetes educators increased confidence and improvements by patients in increasing their participation in resistance exercise.

This is a great example of translational researchwhere research is taken to a successful community intervention, added Phil Page, PhD, PT, ATC, FACSM, Director of Thera-Band Academy. We are very pleased to be part of this initiative and Im not surprised that diabetes educators became more confident about counseling in exercise with Dr. Fowles program using Thera-Band bands. Were very happy to be able to support research with our products that can make a significant change in healthcare worldwide, particularly for a devastating disease as diabetes.

In addition to the products used in the two initial research projects, Canadian Thera-Band distributor Remington Medical worked with Performance Health to provide the products that were used with diabetes educators in over 30 workshops.

Dr. Fowles continued, These workshops inform diabetes educators about physical activity and exercise prescription, and focus on the benefits of resistance training. The Thera-Band product provides an immediate instructional tool that we can use anywherein any seminar or workshop roomand with just a handful to hundreds of participants who can all do an exercise at the same time. For those not familiar with resistance exercise, this is a very effective technique for them to develop an understanding of what it is and what we should expect our patients with diabetes to do.

Because of the available evidence supporting the current CDA guidelines, there is a bias towards resistance exercise on machines and with dumbbells. However, if we suggest that resistance exercise is only effective in the gym, we exclude about 90% of people with diabetes due to lack of gym accessibility, transportation limitations, and/or cost barriers. Because Thera-Band products have been very effective in getting more people involved in resistance exercise, we have a number of non-gym programs that include both aerobic and resistance components using Thera-Band as their primary tool. Weve had good results with functional independence, strength and adherence. We havent done the analysis yet on the clinical outcomes, but weve had lots of success stories from patients themselves. From a practical standpoint, using the Thera-Band products have been very effective in both educating educators about resistance training in general, and overcoming some of the major barriers that have limited the patients ability participate in exercise, concluded Dr. Fowles