Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 85-90% of all cases. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that affects how our bodies use Glucose. Glucose is the number one sugar within our blood and helps the body produce energy.
Our body breaks down our food into glucose (and other nutrients) to be absorbed by our blood. After eating, the glucose levels in our blood rise & the pancreas creates a hormone called insulin which gets absorbed by our blood too. Insulin acts like a key that lets the glucose in and out of our cells. Diabetics have faulty insulin (wrong shape key) or are unable to produce any insulin at all (no key). As a result the amount of glucose in our blood continues to rise and if it remains elevated can cause a range of health problems. These can include weight gain, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart disease.
Type 2 diabetes is often attributed as a lifestyle disease as it can be developed with poor diet, minimal physical activity, and obesity. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be easily managed through regular physical activity and healthy eating!
Exercise can improve the responsiveness of the body’s insulin receptors which regulates the body’s blood glucose levels and allows us to turn the glucose into energy. Exercise also increases the amount of glucose absorbed by the muscles, causing the body to be less reliant on insulin.
As important as exercise is for type 2 diabetes, it is a chronic disease so exercise can have its complications if not performed correctly.
Here are some tips to help you get started on your exercise journey!
- Monitor your blood glucose levels before and after exercising
- Due to complications regulating temperature, ensure you’re exercising in a comfortable climate
- Exercise in the morning to avoid peak insulin action
- Keep the timing of scheduled exercise consistent
- Speak to your GP or exercise physiologist before commencing any new exercise
Still not sure where to start?
Singleton Physiotherapy is commencing weekly diabetes exercise and education sessions, free of charge when referred by your GP. These sessions are called Healthy Eating Activity & Lifestyle (HEAL)and focus no only on exercising, but also diet & lifestyle management. Call Singleton Physiotherapy on 6572 1614 for more information or book in with your doctor and ask for a referral to the group diabetes class.