Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise


It’s a known fact that everyone should take part in some sort of exercise on a regular basis. However, health experts in the US say that only 30% of the people are getting their daily recommended amount of 30 minutes of exercise. In fact approximately 25% aren’t active at all. This could be one of the key reasons why there is such a dramatic increase in the number of cases of Type 2 diabetes in recent years.

There’s good news. It’s never too late to get started, and regular exercise is one of the best (and easiest) ways to start controlling your diabetes. For people with Type 2 diabetes in particular, the American Diabetes Association states exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, lower the risk of heart disease, and promote weight loss.

Some symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include an increase in thirst, appetite, and need to urinate, fatigue, vision problems and tingling in the hands and feet. If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, see your health care provider as soon as possible.

Getting Started

The first step when it comes to any exercise plan is consulting your health care provider. If you have cardiac or other risk factors, your physician might want you to undergo certain tests to make sure you choose the safest level of exercise possible.

If you are already quite active in sports or regularly work out, you can still benefit from a visit with your physician. He or she may want to see how your present exercise routine is affecting your diabetes. If you are a person with diabetes taking insulin, it’s also important to take any necessary steps to prevent hypoglycemia during your workout.

Start Slow

For people with Type 2 diabetes, there’s no need for your exercise routine to be anything excessive. It can be as simple as a nightly walk around your neighborhood. For those who haven’t been very active before now, it’s very important to start slowly and work your way up. Walk the dog, or get out in the yard and rake the leaves. Try to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car farther than you normally do and walk. Even if it only seems like a little bit, you really are helping yourself a lot.

With as little as 15 to 30 minutes of daily, heart-pumping exercise you can make a big difference in not only your blood glucose control, but also your risk of developing complications related to your diabetes. If you don’t know where to start we have a solution. The easiest and least expensive ways of getting things moving is grab a comfortable pair of shoes, a friend or two and start walking. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is which direction to take.

Remember these important facts before heading out for any type of exercise if you have diabetes:

–          Wear your medical identification (Medic-Alert) bracelet or necklace at all times, in case of an emergency.

–          Bring a bottle of water to make sure you stay hydrated.

–          Pay attention to your body’s signs. Head home or take a break if you start feeling weak, dizzy or start experiencing other signs of hypoglycemia. Carry with you some sort of glucose source which you can take orally, such as 4oz of orange or apple juice, or perhaps 4 crackers.

Following these guidelines, as well as taking the necessary precautions, can lead you down the road to better health, and perhaps even a Type-2 diabetes-free future.

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