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Daily Archives: March 13, 2012

Exercise Vs. Type 2 Diabetes… Another Malady In The Series

95% of all Type 2 Diabetes cases are caused by an obese and/or sedentary lifestyle.  95%!  It goes without saying, that living a fit life and keeping one’s weight reasonable through proper nutrition is the best way to keep from getting it in the first place, and I don’t need to link the tidal wave of articles and studies that show this to be true.

Diabetes is tricky once you’ve got it though.  At least in the beginning.  While weight must come down and fitness must go up, too much of a good thing can cause trouble so any exercise regimen should be begun only with the help of a doctor.  One item that I found interesting is that the intensity of the exercise shouldn’t be too strenuous, lest serious blood sugar issues arrive – again, one should absolutely consult their doctor and establish a routine:

“During exercise, the muscles absorb glucose for energy. This causes a lowering of the blood glucose (sugar) levels. The reduction of glucose levels creates a natural treatment for diabetes. It is important to note that exercise that is too strenuous may have the opposite affect of increasing blood glucose levels, which can be harmful to diabetics. The key is to find the type of exercise that will work best for the patient and to do this exercise at levels that are not harmful”.

In addition to the cardio that I love so much, strength training holds significant benefits for diabetics:

“The latest findings show that exercise such as strength training has a profound impact on helping people manage their diabetes. In a recent study of Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of strength training produced dramatic improvements in sugar control that are comparable to taking diabetes medication. Additionally, the study volunteers were stronger, gained muscle, lost body fat, had less depression, and felt much more self-confident”.

While exercise won’t “cure” diabetes, it absolutely will help to get blood sugar under control.  Alas, this isn’t all good news:  “The majority of diabetics, however, are unable to religiously follow strict rules on what to eat and what not to eat, or to start and maintain a good exercise program. For many people it is just too much to do all at once. Another recent study found that instead of exercise plus diet being the best plan for diabetes control, it could be broken down to one or the other with equal results: exercise or diet”.

The quoted statement above is pretty language.  Let me break the important statement down for reality’s sake:  For many people who are resigned to a lazy, or sedentary lifestyle, switching to a healthy lifestyle of exercise and eating right is more difficult than taking medication (I imagine the lines of bikes on the road if we could tell kids with leukemia that they’d get better if they rode a bike and ate right).  It’s a crying shame.

Here’s a list of complications from Diabetes:

Kidney failure, stroke, Peripheral Arterial Disease, Neuropathy (nerve damage), Ketoacidosis, Gastroparesis, hearing loss, high blood pressure, heart disease,  circulatory problems (which eventually result in amputation of the extremities), glaucoma, cataracts and other eye problems.

All of that can be avoided, in most cases, with a reduction in weight, a little exercise and eating right.