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Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise: How these two things go together

March 4, 2020

Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise

 Type 2 Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia with 280 Australians developing Diabetes every day.


What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic, progressive condition that occurs when the body stop being able to produce as much insulin, and eventually is unable to produce insulin resulting in high blood glucose levels.

Your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes is increased due to family history and lifestyle factors, such as being overweight or obese, unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and high blood pressure.

Type 2 Diabetes greatly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, blindness and amputation, which can significantly impact you health and wellbeing.

The good news is exercise can help!


Exercise is the 1st line of Treatment for Diabetes

Regular physical activity can help you manage your Type 2 Diabetes by:

  • Improving you ability to utilise insulin and process glucose
  • Lowering your blood glucose levels
  • Reducing and maintaining weight
  • Lowering Blood Pressure
  • Reducing cardiovascular and stroke risk
  • Lowering cholesterol levels

Exercise can also help to reverse the progression from pre-diabetes to Type 2 Diabetes, through changes in your lifestyle such as eating healthy and regularly exercising.


What Exercise is best for Diabetes?

Before you exercise, see your doctor for a medical examination to ensure it is safe to exercise.

A combination of aerobic and resistance exercise is recommended to assist with long-term management of your diabetes and improve your overall health and wellbeing.

If you are not used to exercise begin with light intensity exercise such as walking, light weighted exercise, and cycling. Once you are comfortable, begin increasing your intensity slowly to a moderate intensity. This will ensure you are enjoying how you are exercising without all the aches and pains!


 Important considerations when exercising:

 It is important to check you blood glucose levels prior to exercise. If your blood glucose is low than exercise will cause this to reduce further and may cause hypoglycaemia. Likewise if your diabetes is not managed well and is very high, than it may be unsafe for you to exercise. Therefore it is very important to ensure your glucose levels are within the recommended range prior to exercising.

Type 2 Diabetes can create several conditions that can affect how you exercise such as foot sores, blindness, numbing of the feet, and cardiovascular disease, which can make it more difficult to exercise

Because of these considerations, it is recommended that you see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist who can ensure you are exercising safely and at the correct intensity, while managing other condition or injuries that you have.

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