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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Treatment of Diabetes – Use Exercise to prevent and manage diabetes


Lower blood sugar levels and attack diabetes symptoms with these exercise tips.

Introduction

How many times have you been advised by your doctor and others, “exercise, exercise, exercise for better health and to lower blood sugar levels with diabetes?”

Dealing with Type 2 diabetes, we know that exercise is a critical component of having a better quality of life living with diabetes. But many cannot get beyond the hurdle of “getting going.” Are you one of those people, or do you have a regular exercise regime?

What Was It for Me?

Having been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I quickly learned the positive outcomes of low-impact exercise. I am not talking about lifting weights or climbing 20 flights of stairs; but what I finally turned to was riding a stationary bike.

I have one tucked into the corner of a room and use it twice daily for 20 minutes each session. Strap on the tablet, turn on a movie and off I go. At the end of the sessions, my blood sugar usually drops 2 – 3 points.

What Can You Do?

The hardest part, I believe, is to get going. Emotionally, I went through, “OMG” do I really have to do that? Then I began to think about what would probably happen if I did not exercise. The thoughts were compelling, and I went to “get going” as a commitment to myself and all those around me who deeply care.

At Damndiabetes.ca, we appreciate the “roadblocks” to beginning a diabetes exercise program. To address this, we offer a “coaching package” that can be as much or as little as you want. All done virtually, it is efficient and effective. Whatever you wish us to do, we are there to encourage you. If you want some help, contact Wayne today by email or telephone.

Exercise, The Critical Step

If your goal is to control your Type 2 diabetes or to prevent pre-diabetes from becoming diabetes, then exercise is a critical component to add to your treatment of diabetes.

We all know the positive impacts of exercise. To reinforce them, I refer you to “a review published in March 2020 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, which found that regular exercise can reduce dependence on glucose-lowering oral medications and insulin. And according to a study published in November 2015 in The Lancet, increased physical activity can help reverse prediabetes.”1

Does It Have to be Complicated?



Absolutely not. Exercise can take just about any form you want it to take. It should be a pleasant activity and one that you can sustain. At Damndiabetes.ca, we are experts at helping people design exercise regimes.




For most Type 2 diabetes clients, we follow the guideline of being close to at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. For example, on my schedule of 40 minutes per day, 5 days per week gives me 200 minutes. For me, that works well, and for you, a short program of diabetes monitoring, measuring and management will quickly provide us with the diabetes research we require at Damndiabetes.ca to help you.

Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes

There are published guidelines, all suggestions on what type of exercises to do. Should you do resistance or strength training?


Yes, there is evidence showing a combination of training can have an improved impact. But at Damndiabetes.ca, we would rather keep it simple and help you to get going. Dealing with all sorts of complexities of what type of exercise, how often, and..... we believe will only push people away from doing something. And something is much better than doing nothing, even if your exercising does not exactly follow all the rules.

What Does Exercise Do?

Beyond the benefits of lower blood sugar levels, there are the benefits of weight loss. Changing your diet to a diabetes diet can have a huge and positive impact on weight loss, which can be sped up by burning calories through exercise. And with obesity being a major health factor in diabetes management, losing weight is one of the better things you can give your body, your family, and your treatment of diabetes.

5 Tips to get going with Diabetes Exercising


  1. Clear Any Exercise Activity with your healthcare team.  Please, only do what your healthcare doctor or team approves. Many “experts from afar” are great with advice – and bless them – but only your doctor and healthcare team should have the last word. They know best about exercises that are suited for any health condition.

  2. Plan, Plan, and Plan The objective of exercising with diabetes is to lower blood sugar. The challenge is to know that the “lower” does not go too low, which can be very dangerous to your health. The solution is to test before, possibly during and after a workout. Keeping track of how exercise affects your efforts to lower blood sugar is something that Damndiabetes.ca can help with after you are cleared to go with a plan from your healthcare providers.

  3. Build Up Do you remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? The Tortoise went slow and steady, and the Hare went fast and bombed out. It is similar to an exercise plan. Start slow and go steady. As you improve, you can always go longer and harder. At Damndiabetes.ca, we have found that people who go slow and steady are much better at achieving their exercise goals. The goal of 150 minutes per week can be achieved in more than one week. We would instead a person succeed at “something” rather than bomb out.

  4. Think Outside the Box There are the structured workouts that most talk about. But exercise can also be part of your daily routine. Walking outside or taking on some typical activity, such as taking the garbage out, speed it up a little. There are many things you can do to exercise that are outside the box, and at Damndiabetes.ca, we can help you understand all of this.

  5. What Type of Exercise? In the broad sense, there are low-impact and resistance exercises. Examples of low impact would be using a stationary bicycle or swimming. Resistant training includes repetitive squats, lunges, and chest presses. The type of exercise, the timing and the duration are all issues to discuss with your healthcare team before starting any exercise program.

Conclusion

How often have we been told with the treatment of diabetes, to exercise? I sometimes think it is a “broken record,” but all those that suggest it are only thinking of what is best. I also appreciate the barrier to getting going; it is like some block in the mind and the actions rebel at the thought.

At Damndiabetes.ca, we have found two things; the first is having non-judgemental support, and the second is going at it slowly. Setting reasonable goals, looking at opportunities to exercise outside the box, and not worrying if you are not following all the “rules” for low-impact and resistance training. Doing something rather than nothing is always better, as any exercise can lower your blood sugar content.

And what could be better than that? Best wishes from......





Wayne Drury was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes more than one year. He quickly discovered there was scant diabetes information providing a roadmap to a better quality of life living with diabetes.




With his passion for learning, helping and providing Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust (E-A-T) to the diabetes community, Damndiabetes began. A boutique firm in Vancouver, they live and breathe the consequences of treating diabetes daily. If you wish help with your diabetes management, are frustrated and have nowhere to turn, call on Damndiabetes and experience their EAT today. We are always happy to help.

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: Statements and opinions expressed on this Website do not constitute medical advice or recommendations. You should not rely on any information in such posts or comments to replace consultations and decisions with qualified healthcare professionals.

Thanks to K. Aleisha Fetters for the original article, which Dr. Kacy Church, MD medically reviewed.

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