Diabetes and Exercise
In a new randomized controlled
trial, both aerobic and
exercise improved glycemic/blood sugar control in people with type 2
diabetes. The greatest improvements came from combined aerobic and
The study included 251 adults, between ages 39 and 70, who were not exercising
regularly and had type 2 diabetes. Participants were assigned to one of four
groups: performing 45 minutes aerobic training three times per week, 45 minutes
of resistance training three times per week, 45 minutes each of both three times
per week, or no exercise.
Both the aerobic and resistance training groups had improved blood sugar control
A1c value decreased by about 0.5 percent. The group that did both kinds of
exercise had about twice as much improvement as either other group alone - A1c
value decreased by 0.97 percent compared to the control group. The control group
that did not exercise had no change in A1c value.
The bottom line is that doing both
aerobic and resistance exercise is the way
to maximize the effects of exercise on blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes.
Exercise is an inexpensive pill that could decrease the hemoglobin A1c value by
1 percentage point, reduce cardiovascular death by 25 percent, and substantially
improve functional capacity (strength, endurance, and bone density).
How exercise can help
Aerobic exercise increases insulin sensitivity and, along with proper
helps restore normal glucose metabolism by decreasing
Low-impact exercise such as
stationary cycling is recommended, along with enough exercise to
management. The goal should be to exercise five times per week, up to
40 - 60 minutes per session at a moderate
intensity. This level of exercise can be reached gradually, starting
as low as 10 - 20 minutes a few times a week for a person who has never
exercised. Remember to increase only one factor at a time
length of session, or intensity).
Strength training also decreases body fat by raising the
lean body mass
and metabolism. It's main benefit, however, is increasing glucose uptake by the
muscles and enhancing the ability to store glucose. A basic recommendation from
the American College of Sports Medicine is to train a minimum of two times per
week, doing 8 - 12 repetitions per set of 8 - 10 exercises targeting major
groups. Safety precautions must be followed for the exercising diabetic.
A personal trainer can help to set up a program for the Type 2 diabetic and help
them exercise correctly. With your doctor's permission, exercise
safe, simple and effective way to exercise at home.
Exercise and good nutrition provide real physical payoffs--they are essential to
controlling diabetes. Exercise can help prolong your life and improve the
quality of your added months and years. Sticking to an exercise program can be a
challenge for anyone, even with strong medical reasons to exercise.
Measuring your blood-glucose level before and after exercise can be a motivator.
Diabetics who play the "numbers game" commonly see a twenty percent decrease in
their blood-glucose level after exercising.
Make sure that the exercise routine is fun, something you look forward to and
there is some variety.
Exercise checklist for people with diabetes
Talk to your doctor about the right exercise for you.
Check your blood sugar level before and after exercising (blood glucose less
than 250 mg/dl). Take your blood-glucose level at least every 20 - 30 minutes
during your workout. After your workout eat a complex
(starchy food). Don't exercise if blood glucose level is below 100 mg/dl or you
don't feel right.
Check your feet for blisters or sores before and after exercising.
Wear the proper shoes and socks.
Drink plenty of fluid before, during and after exercising.
Warm up before exercising and
cool down afterward.
Have a snack handy in case your blood sugar level drops too low.
Dated 06 November 2012