Exercises for Diabetics

Exercise for Diabetics


We all know too well that Diabetes is now widespread and has caused lot of global deaths. With the current rate, more than 430 million people will have diabetes by 2030*. Diabetes’ correlation to cardiovascular disease makes the condition a potent killer. In addition, it can also lead to millions of amputations, blindness, and organ failure.

Diabetes is, in fact, classified into many types based on various factors. However, there are the two most common types, and these are Type1 and Type2 diabetes. And these types can actually be managed and even reversed with the right lifestyle choices. Diet and exercise is the key.

Here are the best types of exercises to beat diabetes:


Aerobic Exercises

Cardiovascular health is gravely affected by diabetes. So it is only wise to improve that particular aspect of physical fitness for diabetics. With that being said, the best types of exercise are aerobic exercises as they improve the health of your heart and circulation.

If you are not used to physical activity (which is likely why you had diabetes in the first place), it is best to do short walks daily at first. Twenty minutes of intense walking is good enough for out of shape individuals. Eventually, walking will become too easy and when that time comes, you need to increase the intensity. You can jog or run, add a few more minutes or distance, or simply change the form of exercise.

Dancing, Tennis, Swimming, and Martial Arts are some hobbies or sports that provide quality and enjoyable aerobic exercise. Diabetics can be creative all they want with the kind of exercises they choose. The important thing is to get moving.

Aerobic exercises, along with proper nutrition, will ultimately improve metabolism by increasing your body’s sensitivity to insulin. Remember that aerobic exercises can be a chore if you are hesitant, so make sure that the activity is fun for you. That way, you will stick to the routine.

Weight/Strength Training

Muscles use up a lot of glucose. More muscle mass will make your body have a faster metabolism. Weight training helps increase glucose uptake by the muscles and helps the body store glucose effectively. According to recent studies, resistance training can improve insulin sensitivity up to 75 percent. You do not have to grow muscles as the appearance of bulky muscles is not the point here.

Weight training is most beneficial for people with Type2 diabetes. Remember to use the “Progressive Resistance Training” principle. This is basically a method in which you constantly increase the overload to facilitate muscle adaptation.

Flexibility and Meditative Exercises

Sometimes, all that you needs is proper breathing and having a healthy mindset. Yoga and Pilates will not only give you a good stretch for seamless circulation but will also clear your mind and promote hormonal equilibrium. These exercises will train your body to store and use glucose and oxygen effectively.

Flexibility exercises are always a great addition to any diabetes management plan.

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*Based on International Diabetes Federation (IDF) / 20 to 79 years old