Diabetes occurs when the body cannot effectively manage blood sugar levels. In the UK around 4.7 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes and this number is widely expected to surpass 5.5 million by the start of the next decade if things don’t change. However, exercise therapy can help prevent the development of diabetes in people with prediabetes and even help reverse the effects of those already diagnosed with it. Read on for Diabetics Revolt: 5 Exercises to Help You Drastically Diminish Diabetes!
1. Jogging / Walking
It is recommended that those with diabetes engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate or 90 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. All you need is a pair of shoes to start, no extra equipment is needed. Jogging and walking have been shown to lower HbA1c levels and help people lose weight, while also providing protective effects against cardiovascular disease.
Many people with diabetes suffer from arthritis which can often prevent them from taking part in things like jogging or running due to joint stress and pain. Cycling provides an alternative low-impact route to attaining the recommended amount of weekly aerobic activity. Cycling, whether it be outdoors on the roads and trails or on an exercise bike, can also help strengthen and build the leg muscles providing additional benefit.
3. Aquatic Exercise
The physical properties of water can give the feeling of weightlessness when you are in the water. This can take the pressure and stress off the body’s joints meaning less pain and more mobility. Individuals can engage in activities such as swimming, aquatic resistance training and aquatic balance exercise. Studies have successfully shown that aquatic exercise is just as effective as land-based exercise in lowering blood sugar levels, decreasing overall cholesterol levels and burning fat.
4. Resistance Training
Not everyone is capable of jogging or walking due to the comorbidities associated with diabetes such as arthritis, obesity and peripheral neuropathy. However, resistance training offers a more than suitable alternative. Studies have shown that 2-3 days a week of resistance training can lead to improved muscle size, quality and strength, reductions in ‘bad cholesterol’ (LDL) and increases in healthy cholesterol (HDL) resulting in enhanced blood glucose control.
This can be done with resistance machines, free weights and resistance bands which can be used at home. It is advised that older / untrained individuals benefit from progressively increasing the resistance and intensity over time to optimise the benefits.
Recently, calisthenic exercise has been gaining popularity among fitness fanatics for a reason, it works! Calisthenics aims to develop muscle strength through the use of exercises focused on using your own body weight. For example, exercises such as press-ups, planks, lunges, pull-ups and squats can all be incorporated into an aerobic or resistance training exercise regime. The beauty of it lies in the freedom you have from needing any sort of gym or equipment.
Exercise brings many benefits, and with its use, those with diabetes can aim to become less dependent on medication while improving their physical and mental health and fitness. All you need to do is have enough whys or personal reasons to stay motivated and that will really help you to keep going! Write them down and let us know what they are in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!