Type 2 Diabetes is a progressive, chronic condition characterised by varying levels of insulin resistance, causing elevated blood sugar levels. These sugar levels in the blood can lead to increased risk of developing long-term health complications.
The incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is strongly associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors, meaning that it can be managed effectively.
Some of these Risk Factors Include
Age and family history
High blood pressure
Highly sedentary lifestyle
Lifestyle factors (diet, smoking, etc)
How can Exercise Help
Physical activity is essential in the prevention, care and management of Type 2 Diabetes and can reduce the incidence of disease by almost 60% in people at risk of developing diabetes.
Benefits of physical activity include:
Improved acute and long-term blood sugar levels
Assists in weight management
Decreases the risk of developing associated chronic conditions (heart/kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease/neuropathy, osteoarthritis, depression)
Improves physical functioning and independence
Improve general health, fitness and wellbeing
No more than 2 consecutive days without training – exercise results in an immediate increase in insulin sensitivity. Scheduling exercise at this interval will maintain this increase over time.
Exercises need to be progressive—once an exercise starts to become easy, we need to make it harder to continue to challenge the muscles and get a benefit from the activity. This can be done by increasing the number of repetitions, adding weight, or reducing the amount of rest between sets.
Start gradually—the biggest benefit of physical activity is going to come from long-term adherence, so start slow, develop something you enjoy and do it as often as you can. Initially focus on decreasing amount of sedentary time and gradually incorporate physical activity into your daily routine—walking the dog, kicking a ball with the kids. Every small change to your lifestyle is a goal achieved.
In saying this, setting aside a set time to intentionally exercise is important in developing a routine and long-term compliance to a program.
Dietary habits plays a large factor in diabetes and weight management—find the right balance for you .
Monitor your blood sugar levels—and know your limits to avoid associated risk.
Physical activity in patients with diabetes is associated with some risks, therefore exercise should be designed and delivered by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.