Exercise and Type II Diabetes

Type II Diabetes is an increasing problem in the United States and other Western Cultures, fueled by poor diet, obesity, unhealthy foods, and lack of exercise. While insulin treatment and diet is very important to those with Type II Diabetes, the American Heart Association also recognizes exercise as an important tool for controlling Type II Diabetes.

In Type II Diabetes, which is more common among those over thirty, the body is unable to use insulin properly. The body will often become resistant to the effects of insulin, which is a hormone essential to breaking down sugars in the body. As a result, if left untreated, Type II Diabetes can cause sugar levels can build up to toxic levels.

The beneficial effects of exercise among those with Type II Diabetes is nothing new and studies have repeatedly shown that aerobic and low impact exercises can help improve glycemic control, as well as obviously helping reduce weight and improve stamina. Recent studies have also found that these types of exercises are also important for helping improve insulin sensitivity and controlling blood glucose levels.

Glycemic control is used to refer to the way the body regulates blood sugar levels.

Risk Factors of Exercise in Those With Diabetes

While exercise has been repeatedly shown to help control Type II Diabetes, it is essential that blood sugar levels are carefully monitored before, during, and after exercise. This is because there is a risk that blood sugar levels will drop too low, which can be very dangerous.

Before starting an exercise regime, it is very important to speak with your doctor, who will be able to help you develop a safe exercise plan, as well as helping to explain some of the warning signs of too much exercise.

In addition, since foot problems and other injuries take much longer to heal in those with diabetes, it is important to preform exercises that will not cause injury. For this reason, water aerobics are one of the more popular exercises for those with Type II Diabetes.

Using Exercise to Treat Type II Diabetes

Since many of those with Type II Diabetes are not very active and are overweight, it is often necessary to set very low goals to begin with. For example, instead of trying to jump into a thirty minute exercise regime, it may be necessary to start out with ten minutes and building upwards. Not only is this important to help increase stamina and endurance, but this also helps make the exercise easier to accept for those who have been inactive for a long period of time, increasing the chance that exercise will become a routine, rather than something that is only tried once or twice.

Not only are shorter time periods important, but proper stretching, both before and after, is very important, which will help reduce the risk of injury.

Studies have found that even daily exercise is not important and often the effects of regular exercise will last for more than 48 hours, so moderation is not only a good idea, it is also does not have many disadvantages.

It is recommended that at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise and 90 minutes of moderate-intensive exercise is preformed each week, but keep in mind that this can be broken up into multiple parts and spread out over the week.

Types of Exercises That Help Treat Diabetes

Most studies have focused on aerobic exercises and resistance exercises, both of which have been shown to be important at helping to control Type II Diabetes.

Aerobics are often a great choice, especially for those who are overweight, as there is less risk of injury and building muscle mass is not as important as improving energy expenditure in those with diabetes. Often, swimming is recommended, as it does not put much stress on the body and has less of a risk of causing foot problems.

Resistance Exercises, such as weight lifting, can also be very beneficial, in part because it increases the ratio of muscle to blood vessels.

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