DIABETES type 2 causes a person’s blood sugar to become too high. Simple lifestyle changes are the best form of treatment, to help control symptoms and blood sugar levels – in particular two types of exercise.
American Diabetes Association recommends two types of physical activity to manage diabetes– aerobic and strength training.
The organisation says aerobic exercise can help your body use insulin better.
It makes your heart and bones strong, relieves stress, improves blood circulation, and reduces your risk for heart disease by lowering blood glucose and blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.
It recommends: “Aiming for 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigourous intensity aerobic exercise at least five days a week or a total of 150 minutes per week.
“Spread your activity out over at least three days during the week and try not to go more than two days in a row without exercising.
“Moderate intensity means that you are working hard enough that you can talk, but not sing, during the activity.
“Vigorous intensity means you cannot say more than a few words without pausing for a breath during the activity.”
Examples of aerobic activity include:
- Brisk walking (outside or inside on a treadmill)
- Cycling – outdoors and stationary indoors
- Low-impact aerobics
- Playing tennis
- Stair climbing
- Ice-skating or roller-skating
- Cross-country skiing
- Moderate-to-heavy gardening
he other type of exercise American Diabetes Association recommends is strength training.
Strength training can make your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood glucose.
The organisation recommends: “Doing some type of strength training at least two times per week in addition to aerobic activity.”
Examples of strength training activities include:
- Weight machines or free weights at the gym
- Using resistance bands
- Lifting light weights or objects like canned good or water bottles at home
- Calisthenics or exercises that use tour own body weight to work your muscles (examples are pushups, sit ups, squats, lunges, wall-sits and planks)
- Classes that involve strength training
- Other activities that build and keep muscle like heavy gardening
The main goal if you have type 2 diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels well-controlled, and incorporating certain foods in your diet can help.