Diabetes and the Effectiveness of Regular Physical Activity
Regular physical activity is very beneficial to those living with diabetes. The short-term benefits of increasing physical activity are:
- Lowers your blood glucose within one hour.
- Increases your energy and strength during the day
- Decreases stress, anxiety and fatigue
- Improves relaxation and sleep
- Improves overall well being
The long-term benefits if activity is sustained:
- Improved blood glucose (sugar) control
- Helps with maintaining weight management when healthy eating is involved.
- Lowered blood pressure
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Lower risk of diabetes complications such as eye, heart, and kidney disease
- Improved quality of life
One of the most effective aerobic activities with the lowest dropout rate is walking. It can be as simple as going for a brisk walk in your neighborhood. Here is an example of a walking plan if you are just starting out:
Both aerobic and resistance exercises are important when it comes to decreasing the risk of developing or advancing Type 2 Diabetes as both help to improve the body’s insulin sensitivity.
Make sure to interrupt sitting at least every 30 minutes by getting up and walking, standing or stretching.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a very effective form of exercise at a higher intensity for shorter durations, as an option for those who are able to tolerate.
Tracking your activity/steps throughout the day is another way of monitoring the amount of time you are active and for some it is a strategy for reducing sitting time by staying accountable.
Canadian Diabetes Association information:
- Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking.
- Higher levels of physical activity and fitness level is one of the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes.
- Physical activity can be as powerful as glucose-lowering medication… with fewer side effects.
- Regular physical activity, in conjunction with healthy eating and weight control, can reduce type 2 diabetes incidence by 60 per cent.
If you require help with getting started on an exercise or physical activity plan, ask your family doctor for a referral to the Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.