Preventative Measures for Diabetes
Alongside appropriate meal planning, taking the right prescribed medication and other healthy lifestyle habits, adopting and maintaining an exercise regimen is critical for those who have been diagnosed pre-diabetic. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), “when you are active, your cells become more sensitive to insulin so it can work more efficiently. Your cells also remove glucose from the blood using a mechanism totally separate from insulin during exercise.” As a result, regular exercise can improve your A1C and decrease your blood glucose, which can decrease the need for medication or possibly prevent a diagnosis of Type II Diabetes.
Specific provisions and recommendations may vary depending on each individual’s health status and other tendencies, however, the overall consensus remains the same: GET MOVING! In fact, regular exercise not only can improve your A1C and decrease your blood glucose, but it can also….
- Aid in weight management and joint flexibility
- Improve stress and blood circulation
- Increase strength of muscles, heart and bones
- Decrease risk of Stroke, Heart disease, Prediabetes and Type II Diabetes
- Lower blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol
- …and more!
Though exercise is not a cure all, it can certainly decrease your risk of diabetes.
Your Diabetes Prevention Regimen via Exercise!
Know your risk and monitor it regularly.
Checking and reviewing your blood sugar levels with your Doctor will help you know when your blood sugar levels are within range or out of range which gives you important information on how to manage your diabetes. An A1C, usually conducted at your doctor’s office, will reveal your blood glucose levels during the last 2-3 months. An A1C level between 5.7% and 6.4% typically leads to a diagnosis of prediabetes. An A1C below 5.7% is considered normal in most cases, whereas over 6.5% signals a diagnosis of Type II Diabetes. Another way to monitor your blood sugar is by using a blood glucose meter. You should keep a log of your results in order to stay informed on how your lifestyle changes are impacting your pre-diabetes. For more information on this device and more, please contact our concierge to schedule an appointment with a Diabetes Educator today!
Move throughout the day.
According to a study conducted at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, researchers concluded that “each extra hour of daily sedentary time (for example spent sitting at a computer) is associated with 22% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.” (). Sitting can also decrease metabolism, increase chronic pain, reduce blood circulation and lower energy levels during the day. Try avoiding long periods of stillness or sitting by simply getting off your chair and walking or stretching for five minutes every hour. You can set an alarm every hour on the hour as a reminder or perhaps every time your phone rings (if you get a lot of calls) you can do some exercises like body squats or pushups.
Moderate to Intense Aerobic Exercise Five Times a week for 30 minutes.
Aerobic or cardiovascular lowers your risk of type II diabetes, improves blood circulation and cholesterol levels, relieves stress, and strengthens the heart and bones. The ADA recommends 30 minutes a day of moderate aerobic exercise at least five days a week. Try activities like walking, hiking, jogging, cycling, dancing or swimming. If you are just beginning your exercise program, begin by taking small increments of exercise and building from there. For example, your first week you may only do 10 minutes of cardiovascular training three days a week, then the next week you may increase your time to 15 minutes or your frequency to five days a week. Continue to build until you are able to sustain consistent aerobic exercise for the given time.
Strength Training at least Two Times a Week.
A 2016 study on Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes reveals that though those with diabetes have a tendency of decreased muscular strength, having a strength training routine can conversely lower blood glucose and maintain strong bones and muscles. This makes is extremely important to maintain a balanced activity regimen that includes resistance training. The ADA recommends at least 2 times a week of strength training in addition to consistent aerobic exercise. Try joining a strength training class at the gym, hiring a personal trainer, following a resistance training video at home or do a prescribed workout regimen from a trained professional to start.
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey