Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise
Exercise and physical activity are the two main pillars for maintaining control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should be advised to perform at least 150 min/week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (50–70% of maximum heart rate) and if no contraindications, resistance training three times per week should be encouraged.
Progressive resistance exercise improves insulin sensitivity in older men with type 2 diabetes to the same or even a greater extent as aerobic exercise.
According to some studies, structured exercise interventions of at least 8 weeks duration have been shown to lower HbA1c by 0.66% in people with type 2 diabetes.
Aerobic and resistance exercises can be followed by FITT principle:
Some tips to not lose your track during exercise:
Break your exercise into 10 minutes each or more if you are unable to do at a stretch for 30 minutes.
Some aerobic activities recommended include:
- risk walking (outside or inside on a treadmill)
- Bicycling/Stationary cycling indoors
- Low-impact aerobics
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Playing tennis
- Stair climbing
- Ice-skating or roller-skating
- Cross-country skiing
- Moderate-to-heavy gardening
- Also called resistance training. This helps in maintaining the strength in muscles and reducing the risk for osteoporosis.
- Experts recommend that we do 8 to 10 strength training exercises on 2 or more days a week. Be sure to include exercises for all major muscle groups including arms, legs, back, and chest.
Examples of strength training activities include:
- Using your own body (e.g., push-ups, squats, etc.)
- Using resistance bands
- Using weights or things around the house (like soup cans) for exercises like bicep curls
- Using weight equipment at a gym like a leg curl machine