Influence of the Exercise on Autonomic Nervous System in Diabetics: A Literature Review

Thais Roque Giacon, Franciele Marques Vanderlei, Natália Turri da Silva, Thais Cabral Almeida, Ana Laura Ricci Vitor, Vitor Engracia Valenti, Luiz Carlos Marques Vanderlei


Diabetes mellitus remains a serious problem of public health and also have the autonomic neuropathy as one of the most frequent complications. In this sense, it is important early identify and prevent changes induced by diabetes mellitus. Physical exercise is known by their positive influences on autonomic modulation so, in order to provide an update of published findings on the topic over the past thirteen years related to this issue the objective of this study was gather information about the influence of physical exercise on autonomic nervous system in individuals with diabetes mellitus, using heart rate variability as a tool of measurement. The search for studies was conducted in the following electronic databases: MedLine/Pubmed, PEDro, SciELO, Lilacs and Cochrane using diabetes mellitus, physical exercise, exercise therapy, autonomic nervous system, sympathetic nervous system, parasympathetic nervous system and heart rate as standard descriptors. Additionally, heart rate variability and diabetic autonomic neuropathy were included due to the wide use as keyword. The results included 10 articles which, in general, showed the physical training promotes positive influence on autonomic nervous system of patients with diabetes mellitus; exercise has different responses on autonomic nervous system in diabetes mellitus when associated with other variables as cardiac autonomic neuropathy, hypertension, obesity and ventricular dysfunction; the positive influence of exercise could be observed through hear rate variability and depends on the characteristics of the exercise as frequency, intensity and type of training.


Diabetes mellitus; Physical exercise; Autonomic nervous system

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