Living with Diabetes
You’ve probably heard it before, if you have type 2 diabetes it’s important to include exercise as part of your lifestyle to manage blood glucose levels. The latest research confirms that’s true, and adds that combining different types of exercise may be even more effective.
Treatment goals for type 2 diabetes
The treatment goals recommended for type 2 diabetes mellitus are clear cut: to achieve and maintain optimal blood glucose levels, along with lipids (blood fats) and blood pressure control. Many people with diabetes can achieve this by making lifestyle changes:
• Making healthy food choices;
• Doing regular exercise;
• Taking prescribed medications; and
• Losing excess weight.
The importance of exercise stressed in recent position paper
Last fall, in a joint position paper published by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association, the subject of exercise and its effects on those with type 2 diabetes was reviewed in-depth. It revealed that only 39% of adults with diabetes are physically active, compared to 58% of other American adults.
The position paper also stated that exercise is highly recommended for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus and can be done safely and effectively. While this is not new, both this position paper and a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicate that a combined regimen of aerobic exercise and resistance training such as weight lifting can significantly lower blood sugar.
Combine aerobic and resistance workouts for the best results
The research suggests that combined training 3 times each week for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus may be of greater benefit than either type of exercise alone. Previous studies looking at exercise and type 2 diabetes suggest that when combining aerobic and resistance training, caloric expenditure was greatest. This most recent study published in JAMA showed that participants doing the combination training lowered their Hemoglobin A1c from 7.7 percent to 7.3 percent–which indicates a reduced risk of heart disease.
Start your new program by checking with your healthcare provider
Always a word of caution–be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program. If exercise is new to you, initial instruction and possible supervision from a qualified exercise trainer is recommended