Exercise for the treatment and prevention of type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder which is characterised by chronically elevated blood sugar levels, with Type 2 Diabetes being the most common form accounting for around 85-90% of all cases. Unfortunately, 280 people develop Diabetes every day and it is one of the fastest growing health concerns in Australia today, with an estimated 2.2 million people affected. The good news however is that we have the knowledge and resources to help prevent people from developing this condition and better manage people who have already been diagnosed.
Studies show that exercise has many benefits, but specifically in the management and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes, it can assist in improving body composition, improving blood glucose control and drastically reduce the risk of developing secondary complications including heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. In fact, it has been demonstrated that people at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes can reduce their risk by 60% just by increasing their physical activity levels.
My top 10 tips for starting an exercise routine
1. Start small, even 10 mins is better than nothing and will help you to develop a habit
2. Find something that you enjoy doing as opposed to following what everyone else is doing
3. Encourage a friend to exercise with you
4. Join an exercise class or walking group if you have no one to go with or are stuck for ideas
5. Set small goals each week and monitor progress in a diary
6. Don’t think of exercise as a rigid routine – gardening, mowing the lawn, washing the car and housework are all great forms of exercise
7. Think ‘movement’ as opposed to ‘exercise’ - Just aim to move more!
8. Aim to go a little longer, faster, or more often each week
9. Reward yourself often for achieving your goals with a trip to the movies or a day trip somewhere. However, try to avoid rewarding yourself with ‘junk’ food or sweet treats
10. Enlist professional help – an Exercise Physiologist can design and implement a tailored program specific to your needs taking into consideration any injuries or other health conditions you may have