Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes

exercising and preventing diabetes

Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes In Las Vegas

Type 2 diabetes continues to be on the rise. Experts still attribute the rise of Type 2 Diabetes with the rise in obesity. Type 2 diabetes is responsible for 90 to 95% of all diabetes cases and is most common in adults. Though we are seeing the rates of childhood obesity increase and right along with it are more young children being diagnosed with the disease. Those stats don’t need to be a death sentence or a sentence to a life of illness. With a few lifestyle changes one can prevent and in some cases counter the course of this disease. One of the most important lifestyle changes is to begin exercising. Yes, you can and should be Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes.

Before getting more into Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes, let’s make sure we have an understanding of what Type 2 Diabetes actually is and does to the body. What normally happens during the digestion process is a hormone called insulin is released into the blood from the pancreas. The insulin’s primary role is its ability to allow carbohydrates (glucose) and proteins to enter muscle cells, where they are stored or used for energy. With type 2 diabetes, some insulin is produced, but the body does not effectively use it. This condition is known as “insulin resistance” and prohibits glucose from entering the cells. In turn, blood glucose in the blood rises to abnormal levels. If unnoticed or unchecked for extended periods, this elevated glucose level may lead to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and nerve dysfunction.

Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to poor lifestyle factors and choices. People who have the highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes typically live a sedentary lifestyle and have poor nutritional habits. These factors also lead to cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity which in turn all enable the risk factors of Type 2 Diabetes. So it may become a vicious cycle.

However, healthy nutrition and regular exercise not only prevent Type 2 Diabetes but they also can be used to control and possibly reverse its progression.

Exercise does help! The most recent research has put exercise at the forefront of Type 2 Diabetes prevention, control and treatment because it decreases insulin resistance. The research has shown that following a 45-60 minute session of regular exercise, cells can better respond to insulin and effectively take glucose out of the blood and properly have it transfer into the cell. Exercise also helps to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body fat.

Those with Type 2 Diabetes, you should adhere to the following exercise recommendations:

  • Always consult with your physician before starting any exercise program to determine the potential risks associated with exercise.
  • Cardiovascular Exercise—Strive to accumulate a minimum of 1,000 calories expended through physical activity each week. This can be done by doing 4-6 workout sessions per week. Depending on current conditioning levels a moderate intensity workout may only start at 20 minutes, but you should be focused on working up to 45 to 60 minutes of daily exercise.
  • Resistance training—Resistance-training activities should be done at least two days per week. These workouts should target all the major muscle groups. Complete a minimum of one set for 12 to 15 repetitions of each exercise at a moderate intensity.
  • Flexibility—Stretching and flexibility training is very important to everyone, but especially important to those with diabetes. Stretching should be a finisher to every workout. Stretch all major muscle groups to the point of tension (not pain) and hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Complete two good stretch holds per body part.

A few other tips when Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes to keep in mind are:

  • These are goals that you should work up to gradually over time if you have had a sedentary lifestyle up to this point.
  • Be sure to monitor your blood glucose levels before and after exercise to understand how you are responding to certain types of activities.
  • Exercise with a partner when first starting out. This ensures more safety as your body adapts to all the changes.
  • Don’t forget to check with your physician prior to beginning a physical-activity program and return regularly to assess your diabetes.

Keeping my eye on you in health and fitness.

Mark Lani CPT, CSN
Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Sports Nutrition
Las Vegas Personal Trainer