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Diabetes and Exercise

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Diabetes is classified as “a lifelong condition where either your body does not produce enough insulin, or the body cannot use the insulin it produces. The body needs insulin in order to change the sugar from food into energy. If your body does not have insulin or cannot use it properly, the result is a high blood sugar (glucose) level.”

Over time diabetes can lead to blindness, heart disease, reduced blood supply to the limbs, leading to amputation, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, and in some cases even stroke. Type 2, where the body makes insulin but cannot use it properly. It is non insulin dependant. The risk factors according to Health Canada are include but are not limited to being over 40, obese, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. How can exercise benefit people with type 2 diabetes? According to WebMD “exercise can provide many health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, but until now the exact type of exercise to optimize those benefits has been uncertain.”

Cardio and resistance training benefit those with diabetes. It has been proven to help patients with diabetes lead a longer and healthier life, provide more energy and increase self esteem, and aid in controlling medical issues such as type 2 diabetes. In the study reviewed by WebMd the researchers took people with type 2 diabetes, divided them into groups and put them on a nine month aerobic program, weight training program and a combination of exercising and not exercising. The results were the best in the group that was a combination of them both, showing better blood sugar levels than before the program started. This is just more evidence that proves combination training that includes cardio and resistance training is very beneficial, especially when it comes to controlling diabetes.

If you have type 2 diabetes make sure to consult your doctor about exercise and supplements. With the findings of studies like this if you are a type 2 diabetic there is no reason to stay sedentary any more, you are only doing yourself more harm than good. So put down the remote, stop upping your medication and  make sure to consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program that includes cardio and resitance training.

The following is an example of a simple circuit followed by a cardio interval that someone suffering from diabetes can try:

Full Body Strength Circuit

Static wall squat x1 minute

Wall shoulder raise x1 minute

Static wall squat x1minute

Supermans on mat x1 minute

Biceps curl with back against wall x1 minute

Plyo wall push up x1 minute

Regular Sit up (feet towards the wall with hand touch wall) x1 minute


Cardio Interval

Warm Up Easy Walk 5 minutes
Sprint 1 minute
Jog 2 minutes
Sprint 1 minute
Jog 3 minutes
Sprint 1 minute
Jog  minutes
Sprint 1 minute
Jog 5 minutes
Sprint 1 minute
Cool Down 5 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes

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