Diet and exercise play a significant role when it comes to preventing diabetes. Many research studies took place to analyze how much physical activity is required to prevent diabetes.

According to the world health organization or WHO, about 346 million people across the world have estimated to have diabetes, and the numbers are expected to get double within the next 20 years. Moreover, it has been estimated that 80% of diabetes cases can be prevented if the primary risk factors were eliminated.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the insulin hormone and no longer regulate the movement of glucose into cells.  This cause glucose to stay in the blood where it damages blood vessels and puts individuals at high risk for related heart complications, nerve damage, blood circulation disorders, blindness, and kidney disease. Physical activity improves cell’s ability to respond to insulin and lower blood glucose levels. Regular physical activity has the added benefits of weight management and stress relief.

How can physical activity help prevent diabetes?

If you are dealing with Type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your diabetes treatment. A healthy meal plan is also essential to maintain your blood glucose level along with medications and insulin if needed.

Staying fit and active throughout your life can help you better control your diabetes and keep your blood sugar in a correct range.  Managing blood glucose level is necessary for preventing long-term complications such as renal impairment and nerve pain. Patients with Type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their bloodstream, either because their body stops producing enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesn’t use insulin properly exercise helps in the reduction of glucose in your blood. Muscles have the ability to use glucose without insulin when you are exercising. This means when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they require, and in turn, your blood sugar level drops down.

In the case of insulin resistance, physical activity makes your insulin more effective. This is why your cells can cause the glucose more effectively.

Exercise is also useful in avoiding long-term complications associated with Type 2 diabetes especially heart disease. Diabetes patients are more likely to develop blocked arteries which may contribute to heart attack. Regular physical activity is essential for keeping heart healthy and strong. Exercise helps you maintain good cholesterol, and that helps you avoid the condition of blocked arteries.

What are the Benefits of exercise?

  • Control of weight
  • Stronger Bones
  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Stronger muscles
  • Increased level of good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Enhanced mood
  • Helps in stress management

What are the different kinds of exercise?

The main kinds of exercise are aerobic, strength training, and flexibility. If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, then you should aim to have a good balance of all three types of exercises.

  1. Aerobic exercises include:
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Basketball
  • Tennis

You should begin at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least four times a week.  If you are not able to find half an hour, break up the exercise schedule into chunks, ten minutes here and three and build up to thirty minutes gradually.

  • Strength training- After aerobic exercise, you can start with strength training, which helps you give lean, efficient muscles and help you keep healthy bones. It is extremely beneficial for patients with Type 2 diabetes because muscles use the most glucose, so if are able to use them more, you will have better control of your blood glucose levels.
  • Flexibility training- Flexibility training helps to improve how well your muscles and joints work. Stretching especially before exercise reduces muscle soreness and relax your muscles.
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