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The Diabetic Exercise Program

An important part of any diabetic management program is regular exercise. The benefits of exercise are the same for everyone, whether they have diabetes or not. Improved physical fitness, improved emotional state, weight control and improved work capacity are all benefits of exercise.

Diabetics exercise increases the uptake of glucose by muscle cells, potentially reducing the need for insulin. Exercise also reduces cholesterol and triglycerides, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disorders. People with diabetes should consult their primary health provider before beginning or changing an exercise program.


The ability to maintain an exercise program is affected by many different factors, including fatigue and glucose levels. It is as important to assess the diabetic’s usual lifestyle before establishing an exercise program as it is before planning a diet. Factors to consider include the diabetics usual exercise habits, living environment, and community programs. The exercise that the person enjoys most is probably the one that he or she will continue throughout life.

Everyone with diabetes should follow the guidelines set forth by the ADA when undertaking an exercise program. These include the use of proper footwear, inspecting the feet daily and after exercise, avoiding exercise in extreme heat or cold, and avoid exercise during periods of poor glucose control. The ADA further recommends that people over the age of 35 have an exercise-stress electrocardiogram prior to beginning an exercise program.

Exercise for Type 1 Diabetics.

In the person with type 1 diabetes, glycemic responses during exercise vary according to the type, intensity, and duration of the exercise. Other factors that influence responses include the timing of exercise in relation to meals and insulin injections, and the time of day of the activity. Unless these factors are integrated into the exercise program, the person with type 1 diabetes has an increased risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. The following are some general guidelines for an exercise program.

  • People who have frequent hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia should avoid prolonged exercise until glucose control improves.
  • The risk of exercise-induced hypoglycemia is lowest before breakfast, when free insulin levels tend to be lower than they are before meals later in the day or at bedtime.
  • Low-impact aerobic exercises are encouraged.
  • Exercise should be moderate and regular; brief, intense exercise tends to cause mild hyperglycemia, and prolonged exercise can lead to hypoglycemia.
  • Exercising at a peak insulin action time may lead to hypoglycemia.
  • Self monitoring of blood glucose levels is essential both before and after exercise.
  • Food intake may need to be increased to compensate for the activity.
  • Fluid intake, especially water, is essential.

Young adults may continue participating in sports with some modifications in diet and insulin dosage. Athletes should begin training slowly, extend activity over a prolonged period, take a carbohydrate source such as an energy drink after about one hour of exercise, and monitor blood glucose levels for possible adjustments.

In addition a snack should be available after the activity is completed. It may be necessary to omit the usual regular insulin dose prior to an athletic event; even if the athlete is hyperglycemic at the beginning of the event, blood glucose levels will fall to normal after the first 60 to 90 minutes of exercise.

Exercise for Type 2 Diabetics.

An exercise program for the type 2 diabetic is especially different. The benefits of regular exercise include weight loss in those who are overweight, improved glycemic control, increased well being, socialization with others, and a reduction of cardiovascular risk factors.

A combination of diet, exercise, and weight loss often decreases the need for oral hypoglycemic medications. This decrease is due to an increased sensitivity to insulin, increased caloric expenditure, and increased self esteem. In fact regular exercise may prevent type 2 diabetes in those at high risk for getting this form of diabetes.

Here are some guidelines for type 2 diabetics undertaking an exercise program.

  • Before beginning the program, have a medical screening for previously undiagnosed hypertension, neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, and cardiac ischemia.
  • Begin the program with mild exercises and gradually increase intensity and duration.
  • Self monitor blood glucose before and after exercise.
  • Exercise at least three times a week or every other day, for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Include muscle-strengthening and low-impact aerobic exercises in the program.

Diet, medication and exercise are all an important part of a successful program to manage diabetes. It is important for any diabetic to incorporate all three into their lives to control and prevent the many complications that this disease can bring.

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Benefits of Diabetic Exercise

For a person with diabetes, regular exercise is especially important. It helps control the blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. People with diabetes are prone to high blood pressure and heart diseases, so those who exercise daily are less likely to suffer from heart attacks or stroke.

Healthy fitness routines help control blood glucose levels because exercising muscle cells use more sugar and oxygen than those at rest. It increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, making it more responsive to insulin treatments and insulin that’s naturally produced by the body.


There are two main types of common exercise for people with diabetes. One is aerobic exercise that includes brisk walking, dancing, cycling, swimming, jogging, team sports, etc. This type of exercise makes our heart and lungs stronger, lowers blood pressure and blood lipids. Another is anaerobic exercise that usually involves some weight training which builds muscle cells.

Before you start any exercise routine, it’s important that you select the right type of exercise that’s suitable for you. If you’re out of shape or have been recently diagnosed of having diabetes, then you should consult your physician before starting an exercise program.

When choosing an exercise routine it’s important to bear in mind that you must not put unnecessary stress on your feet. You should try to avoid activities such as running, jogging, or jumping that could possibly cause injury to the feet. Diabetes can cause a nervous disorder called diabetic neuropathy that results to the weakening of the nerves. The feet are usually the most affected part so swimming, cycling and walking are more reasonable choices.

Start with less strenuous exercises first since it could elevate blood pressure and may even cause hypoglycaemia. Always remember to warm up before starting any physical activity. Any sudden activity imposes pressure on the heart. Do some light stretching for at least 5 minutes to prepare your muscles.

Research shows that walking daily can cut down the risk of prematurely dying. People who walked for at least two hours a week had nearly a 40% reduction in death from all causes. Walking is a cardiovascular exercise, it makes you breathe heavily and you can feel your heart working harder. But make sure it does not lead to palpitation. If you think you’re becoming too tired then slow down a bit. You wouldn’t want to overexert yourself.

Carry enough sweets with you at all times. Chocolate is a good source of sugar and an immediate charger for your body. Too much physical exercise may drastically reduce blood sugar levels that could lead to fatigue. Chocolate could help normalize your state. Just make sure you’re not tempted to eat more than you need to.

Physical exercise is known to prolong life and allow us to live healthier lives. It prevents developing heart diseases and certain cancers. But for diabetics this can be tricky because of the unpredictability of the disease. Just like with the diabetes diet, it must be carefully monitored. Too much food consumption could lead to stroke and heart diseases, but not enough food consumption could also lead to hypoglycaemia.

Exercise is good for counteracting diabetes, but too much exercise could also bring dire consequences to a person’s health. Everything must be done in moderation. So regularity, duration and intensity of the exercise must be considered.

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Type 2 Diabetes – Exercise and Diabetes!

A major part of controlling Type 2 diabetes is making the right food choices, from portion control to the kinds of foods and the frequency that they are consumed. But another huge factor that plays into the success of controlling this disease is exercise. In fact, many who suffer with this ailment may not be fully aware how much exercise can benefit them.

Exercise works for Type 2 diabetics in a number of ways. First, it not only helps to control weight, but it does so not by starvation, but by eliminating excess fat the healthy way. This is not only good when you look at it from a weight standpoint, but it is also good when you look at the location of the weight.


It is a known fact that having excessive fat in the midsection, in other words a large belly, spells disaster for Type 2 diabetics. Actually, a specific type of belly fat called visceral fat, is to blame. This is fat around the liver and other organs inside the abdomen and is different to subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is fat under the skin and can be removed by liposuction… liposuction cannot remove visceral fat. The cells of visceral fat manufacture chemicals that prevents other cells from responding to insulin as they should and the chemicals also trigger inflammation.

Exercise not only benefits removing this fat for the sake of Type 2 diabetes and lower blood sugar, but for other conditions as well. When an individual exercises they will lose weight from areas that carry the largest reserves first, so in this case, belly fat would be eliminated and a diabetic would reap the benefits of trimming down their midsection.

Working out and shedding some weight is a good idea, not just for diabetes management but for warding off other illnesses as well.

So what exercise is best? Doctors recommend aerobic exercise for several reasons:

If you find you can only do light aerobic exercise such as slow walking, cycling, or even other activities that don’t really raise your heart rate by much, check with your doctor and see if you can extend the number of minutes you actually exercise. More time spent doing aerobic exercise can help compensate for less intensity.

Aerobic exercise also improves circulation efficiency and helps to lower blood pressure. Plus, it doesn’t put too much stress on your joints or feet. Don’t forget warming up is critical and monitoring blood sugar levels is equally important. Starting out slowly and listening to your body will allow you to get in a good workout without causing undue damage.

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Lifestyle Tips For the Healthy Diabetic

Here are some lifestyle tips for the healthy diabetic:

healthy 1. Change your diet.

A healthy diet coupled with proper nutrition can help the diabetic manage his or her condition. Obese people are at more risk to diabetes. So it is very important for diabetics to maintain a healthy weight. Actually, it is not only the diabetics who need to eat healthy. Changing your diet to healthier alternatives can help prevent other diseases in the long run. It is essential for the diabetic to especially cut down on carbohydrates, because glucose comes from this food group. And diabetes is concerned about the erratic levels of glucose in one’s body. The amount of fats and salt one takes in should also be controlled. Diabetes has some associated risks including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Healthy eating can simply help in minimizing these associated risks and prevent any more diabetic complications.

2. Lead an active lifestyle.

Being sedentary is the worst thing a diabetic can do. Daily exercise can help a diabetic lose weight and maintain it at healthy levels. As mentioned earlier, diabetes has some associated risks like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.. Exercise can lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels. Exercise also lessens stress levels of the body. Another benefit of exercise is that it releases endorphins which are the natural pain relievers of the body. Exercise makes the blood circulate normally which is sometimes constricted due to the high glucose levels coming from diabetes.

3. Monitor your glucose levels constantly.

Glucose testing on a constant basis can help the diabetic monitor his or sugar levels and make adjustments on their food and medicinal intake. A diabetic who does not know how to check up on his or her glucose level is like a beginner driver mindlessly maneuvering a vehicle. It is definitely imperative that a diabetic knows how to test his or her glucose level. This will aid the diabetic in controlling his or her food intake. This will also warn the diabetic if his or her physical activities are not enough. All diabetics have a mark or goal on what their glucose level should be. Testing constantly can help diabetics in managing properly their condition.

Diabetes should not be life sentence. With discipline, a diabetic can lead a healthy and happy life. The above lifestyle tips are simple enough for the diabetic to follow. Constant encouragement from family and friends can help the diabetic achieve this healthy lifestyle. Except for constant glucose testing, the said lifestyle tips are actually applicable to everyone. And apart from for gene-influenced diabetes, diabetes can actually be prevented. Even people without this condition should be aware of the above lifestyle tips in order to prevent going into the other direction.

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Tips on Lowering Your Risk for Diabetes Type 2

The body relies on the entry of glucose into cells to generate energy for various activities and body functions. This entry is facilitated by the action of insulin which drives glucose into cells. Type 2 diabetes results when there is either not enough insulin or the body’s cells are resistant to its actions. This leads to accumulation of glucose within the bloodstream leading to symptoms such as fatigue, frequent thirst and urination.

Here are some useful tips to help lower your risk of having or developing type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.


Eating healthy

Out with the junk and in with the healthy. Including larger quantities of fruits and vegetables in your diet has been claimed by scientists to lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Fruits and vegetables are easily digested, contain essential nutrients and other vitamins and minerals which are great for your body. Eating healthy also reduces your chances of eating unhealthy, cholesterol-laden foods which increase your risk for diabetes.

Shed some weight

Obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes Mellitus. It also predisposes to other metabolic conditions and diseases such as heart disease. Eating healthy or going on a diet may help but the best weight loss remedy is via surgery. For patients already with type 2 Diabetes Mellitus who are overweight, surgery for type 2 diabetes Mellitus not only helps them lose weight, it’s also proven to cause long term remission to many patients.

The less you stress, the better

Our world today is riddled with stress right from our waking moments, till when we return back to bed. Lowering our exposure to stress and coping with stress better can lower risk for developing diabetes Mellitus type 2. Practicing meditation, yoga etc can help declutter our minds and helps us get through the stress of the day. Partaking in exercise can also help reduce our stress levels.

Give up smoking

Smoking has several deleterious effects on the health of smokers. According to health experts, it has been identified as an independent risk factor for developing diabetes. In addition, it heightens the risk of developing complications in individuals who already have diabetes. Smoking is associated with insulin resistance which predisposes to diabetes. Although quitting smoking can be quite difficult, it is not too great a price to pay in exchange for a healthier life.

Healthy sleep is good for you

For a healthy life, it is generally recommended that individuals get adequate sleep of at least 8 hours a day. Sleep deprivation or getting less than adequate sleep time can increase your risk of developing diabetes.

The above tips are simple ways to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes Mellitus. Weight loss and eating healthy are particularly key. Diabetic patients can benefit from surgery for diabetes type 2 as a result of its proven benefits.

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Make Some Lifestyle Changes and Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

The latest research findings suggest that many individuals could be pre-diabetic for up to 10 years, and that individuals over the age of 40 years are more prone to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

However, there are a number of lifestyle changes that individuals can make to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and that will obviously have other lifestyle benefits. Diabetes is irreversible and happens when excess glucose or sugar accumulates in your blood, either due to a lack of insulin or because the insulin produced simply stops working properly.


1) Get some exercise

It has been proven that increasing your exercise regime can seriously reduce the risk of diabetes. It is suggested that you should try and exercise for at least 45 minutes at least 5 times per week. The exercise should be vigorous enough to work up a healthy sweat, and can include a good brisk walk, jogging, running and even cycling. Try to fit as many of the activity sessions you can during the workweek, and then on weekends you should get in a couple of longer workouts that really work up a sweat.

2) Cut down on the refined carbohydrates

When eating a high refined carbohydrate diet, this increases insulin resistance and can lead to obesity. A good diet that cuts back on the refined carbohydrates will reduce the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes significantly. Refined carbohydrates are usually found in things such as pastries, biscuits and cakes.

3) Stop smoking

Smokers, even casual smokers, have a higher risk profile of being diagnosed with diabetes, and so obviously your best bet is simply to quit immediately. Smoking raises the risk of a number of other health related issues, so if you make just one lifestyle change, quitting your smoking habit would be the best option.

4) Lose some weight

Studies have shown that by losing just 10% of your body weight, you can improve your insulin resistance levels and lower raised blood sugars. The heftier your are, the more at risk you are of being diagnosed with diabetes.

5) Home based treatments

You do not have to follow a completely medical path to reduce your risk of diabetes. Some studies have shown that the intake of cinnamon can improve the efficiency of insulin in helping the body metabolize sugar.

Cinnamon can now be found in a number of health shops and is usually found in the form of supplements.

It is important to assess your risk factors and to determine whether you may fall within the high risk category of potential diabetes sufferers. It does not hurt to make a number of these lifestyle changes and reduce the risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Many of the lifestyle changes will also work wonders for your overall well being, so even if you are not at risk of diabetes, the lifestyle changes can be of benefit to you.

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Is Exercising Necessary for Management of Diabetes?

Yes, it is necessary. Diabetes has no cure, but you can appropriately manage it with diet and exercise. Despite exercise being a valuable tool, most people don’t engage in it, and those who do, lack the motivation to continue.

While apathy is a core reason for not exercising, lack of information is a factor too. Most of the persons with diabetes lack the proper knowledge on the type of exercises that they should implement in the daily routine.


Which types of exercises are suitable? Aerobics and resistance exercises are regarded as the cornerstone for the management of diabetes (1).


Aerobic exercises include cycling, treadmill, running, swimming, rowing, walking, and running. These types of exercises, if done correctly can offer significant benefits to you.

The exercises help in;

  • Improving insulin sensitivity
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Increase in the respiratory system function
  • Reduction of the metabolic risk factors
  • Assists in maintaining blood pressure
  • High-intensity aerobic activities can aid in weight loss
  • Helps in controlling the glycemic levels
  • Improves the lipid profile
  • Restores the endothelial functions
  • Reduces arterial stiffness
  • Helps in the uptake of glucose in the skeletal muscles

The frequency of the aerobic exercises should be three days per week. For persons with diabetes, it is recommended that you have 150 min/ week of aerobic exercises (2).

Resistance exercises

These exercises include weight lifting. Because of the use the equipment, the resistance exercises can prove to be difficult for some of the people especially the seniors.

The exercises help to increase the muscle strength and lean muscle mass. Increase in the muscle mass results in the Blood glucose uptake which in turn increase the insulin action. With the exercises, your blood glucose intake will improve whether insulin is available or not (2).

Combining aerobic and resistance exercises can be more effective in the blood glucose management (2).

It is essential for you to engage in resistance exercises twice a week. 5 to 10 exercises involving both the upper body, core, and lower body is enough for you.

Side effects

Exercises are great not only in the management of diabetes but also for improving your general health. However, if not done correctly, they can pose a risk to your health.

Exercises can lead to sudden cardiac health especially in patients with coronary heart disease. It is, therefore, crucial for you to be screened for myocardial ischemia before engaging in any exercise (1). It is vital for you to finish the workouts with a cool down session to recover the heart rate. Cardiac autonomic neuropathy results from failure of heart rate recovery.

Fatigue and tiredness may also create an imbalance between the oxygen delivery and intake. The onset of hypoglycemia after the aerobic exercises may be a risk for a person taking insulin. You are advised to consult a dietician or a doctor on the different exercises that you can use.

Make a point of conducting a pre-exercise assessment before any exercise.

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Role of Exercises in Avoiding Risk of Diabetes in Adults

Diabetes is an illness that causes an increase in the blood sugar levels and can have a devastating effect on the kidneys, eyes, heart and lower extremities. Uncontrolled sugar levels for the prolonged periods of time may lead to blindness, sudden heart attack, kidneys failure and even amputation of your limbs.

Moreover, diabetes is responsible for the millions of deaths around the globe and is considered as one of the top 5 reasons of mortality every year. However, a recent research revealed that with a healthy diet and regular strength training routine, 70-80 percent of new diabetes cases can be avoided. Therefore, a regular exercise routine not only lowers your risk of developing diabetes, but it also trims and tones your entire body.


It is very important that you incorporate a strength training routine at least four times a week to avoid diabetes. Strength training consists of machines and free weights that work your large muscle groups and can play a vital role in preventing diabetes because it keeps your large muscles proactive and they turn excess glucose into glycogen by using insulin effectively. As a result, glycogen is stored in your body and is used as a fuel later on.

It is important that you target different muscle groups in each session to give your muscles a sufficient time to recover and rebuild. Moreover, you should breathe deeply in between each rep during strength training. Deep breathing not only forces oxygen to pass through tissues and cells, but it also pushes glucose out and reduces the high sugar levels associated with diabetes. Make sure that you set realistic goals for yourself during resistance training. You should start slowly and increase numbers of sets as well as reps gradually.

Another wonderful routine that helps you prevent diabetes is including cardio exercises along with strength training sessions. Exercises like walking, running, swimming and rope jumping not only are beneficial to your cardiovascular system, but they will also help prevent diabetes by burning extra glucose that your body doesn’t need.

As a result, your blood sugar levels will remain in check and stay stable in your body. Moreover, cardiovascular exercises also ensure a steady flow of blood throughout your body.

It is also a good idea to prefer walking over motor riding. Whenever you go out for shopping, you should park your motor bike or car at a place which is quite far away from your destination. You should also use the stairs instead of an elevator to give yourself some extra cardio exercise. Each of these changes not only will burn your body fat, but will also control the high sugar levels associated with diabetes.

Moreover, it is also important that you stay happy and in a good mood all the time. Make your life simple and enjoy each and every moment of your life. Tension, stress, anxiety and depression may lead to the development of diabetes and high blood pressure. Hence, they should be avoided if you want to avoid the diabetes.

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Exercise Can Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects 25.8 million Americans according to the American Diabetes Association. This is over 8% of the total population in the United States. There are two types of diabetes, which I will not go into great detail to describe, but very basically Type I is often referred to as juvenile diabetes and Type II is Adult Onset type that is often a result of poor diet, sedentary living, and obesity.

Health care practitioners and exercise scientist have long promoted physical activity as an effective way to help with symptoms of diabetes, but more and more research today offers proof that exercise can not only help with symptom management, but also in preventing development of the disease all together (Type II).


For those with diabetes, exercise helps in two ways. First, exercise helps with controlling weight and secondly, exercise helps to lower and stabilize blood sugar levels. While most doctors suggest cardiovascular works (as it increases breathing rates and strengthens the heart) more research is promoting weight and resistance training. In fact, one study I looked into found that weight training alone may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Even low intensity physical activities have a positive effect on diabetes management, including such activities as walking, biking, gardening and housework. These activities are easy enough for most people of all ages to engage in to some degree. Obviously more exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes even further. Before beginning any exercise routine, it is advisable to check with your healthcare practitioner for an evaluation and to discuss potential risks.

One concern that many diabetics have is the nerve damage that they might have experienced in their legs and feet. If this is the case, I recommend that these folks look into water exercise as a very low impact form of exercise. Many local pools and fitness centers offer an array of water fitness classes that are lead by certified instructors. Exercising in water helps to drastically reduce the pressure on your legs, ankles, knees and other joints, and in this way, it can make exercising more accessible to people with issues of this nature.

Also folks with joint issues should consider some weight training exercises that focus more on the upper body. Even a small amount of weekly weight training appears to have substantial benefits in terms of lowering the risk of developing diabetes. An independent study found that men who lifted weight for just up to 59 minutes a week lowered their risk of diabetes by 12%. Weight training is also an effective means of strengthening the skeletal system and joints, as well as building muscles that surround the joints, which is important for stability and can actually help lessen joint pain.

As a Chiropractor and certified fitness trainer, I always recommend that once folks gain clearance to begin an exercise regime from their healthcare professional, they begin slowly. That being said, prior to beginning any exercise routine, check with your healthcare provider to discuss any potential risks.

If you have not exercised regularly in quite some time, begin with 15-20 minutes of low-intensity exercise 2 to 3 times per week, and then gradually increase the duration of your workouts after 3 weeks. Walking and water exercise are great ways to get started and not only will you reduce the risk of Type II diabetes, you will also burn calories and be working towards a more active lifestyle!