Diabetes and Exercise

What you need to know about Exercise & Diabetes!

Did you know that Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in the world, and is the 6thhighest cause of death in Australia!! Scary huh! Type 2 Diabetes is commonly known as the ‘Lifestyle Disease’....yep you got it, poor diet, lack of physical activity & smoking are some of the main contributing factors to this disease. Let’s talk about exercise...

When it comes to getting enough regular exercise in today’s world, most people think “easier said than done!” We all know that it is essential for our health, so why aren’t we getting enough? Exercise is medicine, so let’s look into why & how we can get more of this amazing drug into our life!

Why is exercise so good?

Here are some positive benefits you will gain from adding some exercise to your life!

  • More happy hormones circulating through you blood! Reduce depression, stress & improve sleep!
  • Improve your body’s response to insulin, which can lower blood sugar levels
  • Lower your blood pressure & cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart disease
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Reduce the risk of developing diabetes complications

What activities are recommended?

If you don’t like the idea of sweating it out in a gym, don’t worry, this is not necessary! Exercising is not about ‘no pain – no gain’, it is simply about increasing the amount of movement you do in your day. Here are a few tips to get you going:

  • Walking is free & easy! How can you add more walking into your day? Get off the bus one stop earlier and walk? Take the stairs instead of the lift? Walk around the block instead of having that afternoon coffee?
  • Be creative and try something new! Activities such as Pilates, yoga, tai chi, dancing, water aerobics & swimming are all great ways to get moving! Check out in your local directory to see what is available close to you?
  • Get a pedometer and monitor how many steps you take per day (ps you want to aim for at least 10,000 steps per day!)
  • Get physical at home – dance in the lounge-room, do some gardening or housework instead of paying someone to do it!
  • Think of exercise as play rather than exercise.How can you ‘play’ more? Get your kids off the computer games and play ‘real’ games with them! Have a picnic/games day with your friends instead of going out for a boozy meal at a restaurant.

How much is enough?

How much exercise you need to do, will depend on the type of activity, and whether or not you need to lose weight. Make sure you go no longer than 2 days in a row without training!

  • Moderate Intensity Exercise

Aim to do 30-minutes EVERY DAY! (eg brisk walking, swimming). You can break this up into smaller sessions, such as 2x15min sessions, or 3x10min sessions. Moderate intensity means that your breathing & heart rate will speed up and you may get a light sweat, but you should be able to talk comfortably. You want to do 210min per week!

  • Vigorous Intensity Exercise

Alternatively to moderate intensity exercise, you may choose to do this if you are time poor and want some shorter, harder sessions where you get your heart rate up much higher. You want to do 125min per week!

  • Strength Training

2 or more resistance training sessions per week are recommended, and these are included in your 210min moderate or 125min vigorous intensity exercise per week. These can be gym workouts or something like Pilates or Yoga.