Fitness influences on diabetes

Fitness and regular physical training contributes to stabilize diabetes and reduce the probability of developing health complications caused by the disease. Regular exercising also improves the diabetic’s quality of life. Combining physical fitness with a balanced diet may reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 40%-90%. The odds to develop diabetes are usually related. To our body’s genetics. Developing type 2 Diabetes is heavily influenced by the western lifestyle. Western lifestyle affects  the occurrence of diabetes more than it affects  the occurrence of any other disease.

Overweight is a major factor in the development of the disease. However, lack of physical activity and imbalanced diet play a major role as well. Diabetes has achieved epidemic proportions; it affects many residents in developed countries as well as the more affluent residents of developing countries.

Untreated diabetes can cause long term health problems and affect the cardiovascular and nervous systems, the kidneys, the vision and more. The complications of diabetes can cause disability and premature death. A healthy lifestyle and regular physical training are the most important tools used in the fight to prevent diabetes.

The goals of physical training for diabetics are:

  1. To achieve and maintain an optimal metabolic balance, which means maintaining blood/sugar levels, body weight and blood pressure within the acceptable healthy parameters.
  2. To treat and prevent complications such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetic nephropathy and dyslipidemia.
  3. Health improvements as a result of adapting a healthy lifestyle.

Physical activity is very important in the prevention and / or management of the disease. Physical activity is very important for everyone, more so for diabetics. Regular exercising is very important in reducing health risks and stabilizing the diabetic conditions. Regular exercising leads to reducing blood / sugar levels, improve the body’s reaction to insulin, losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight. Research shows that weight reducing programs that combine a healthy diet with regular physical activity result in weight loss and help to maintain a healthy body weight in the long term, which is very important for diabetics.

Additional advantages of physical activity:

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  • Reducing the possibility of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Reducing the probability of cancer and colon diseases.
  • Reducing hypertension levels.
  • Improving the lipid levels in the blood (increasing good cholesterol levels, reducing bad cholesterol levels).
  • Improving  bone density.
  • Adding muscles mass and reducing fat.
  • Reducing mental stress.
  • Improving the sense of well being and the quality of life.

In order to reduce the risk of sports related injuries, follow these recommendations:

  • Consult with your doctor prior to starting an exercise regime.
  • Gradually increase the intensity and duration of you physical activities.
  • Include physical activities in your daily routine, preferably at a set time in the mornings.
  • Choose the type of activities you enjoy, it will be easy to keep it up in the long term.

Types of activities to choose from:

  • Fun activities such as playing in your back yard, beach games, bowling, ball games, etc.
  • Taking the dog for a walk.
  • Short walks during the day in order to break your heavy work schedule.
  • Park your car at a distance from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
  • Use the stairs rather than elevators and escalators.

Follow the rules prior to exercising:

  • Diabetics who are using medications or insulin must check blood / sugar levels before and after exercising. Should the level be too low they must eat a snack or a light meal.
  • Do  not exercise should your blood /sugar level exceed 250.
  • Walk slowly or stretch for 10 minutes before and after training.
  • Drink water regularly during training.
  • Keep a snack such as candy, biscuit, energy bar, etc. handy in case your blood / sugar level will drop during or after your training.
  • Should you experience leg or chest pains during exercising, stop and consult your doctor.
  • Insulin should be injected about an hour prior to training, do not inject at a part of your body you plan to exercise.
  • During intense and prolonged training you should consume 15-30 grams of carbohydrates every 30 minutes.

In conclusion – Type 2 diabetes has become very common in recent years. Regular physical activities and a healthy lifestyle reduce the risk of developing diabetes.  Diabetics who follow a regular training regime combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle will improve their health, arrest the deterioration of the disease, eliminate additional health complications, and improve their quality of life.

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