Exercise - Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes

A little exercise will always go a long way

Not everyone can run a marathon or swim the channel. But everyone can take a healthy approach to exercise and do what they can within their own personal limits to get the most out of life. Exercise is vital when it comes to strengthening our muscles and cardiovascular system - but it is also a fun and enjoyable way to achieve a feel-good factor, especially when combined with a healthy approach to eating and drinking.

People with diabetes or prediabetes should exercise as regularly as they can. Muscles which are working use more glucose than when they are resting. And moving muscles means more sugar uptake by cells and lower blood sugar levels.

In these articles we look at the importance of exercise, share some simple tips on how to make the most of them.

The wonders of walking

People exercising - Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes

The US-based health organisation Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you partake in 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

So why not start walking regularly!

Starting from Monday, walking for just one mile a day is the beginning of a new healthier and fitter you. People tend to walk at an average pace of about 3.1 miles per hour. At that rate, it would take you only 19 minutes to walk for one mile a day and the benefits are endless!

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Walking Infographic

Benefits of walking

Healthier heart

Walking is an excellent activity that increases your heart rate leading to greater efficiency of the heart. Walking lowers your risk of heart disease and helps the heart grow stronger and healthier.

Weight loss

Walking is a great way to lose weight. A blog we published recently states how a brisk walk can be extremely beneficial for type 2 diabetics.

Walking is often recommended as part of weight-loss regimens. As a form of pure, physical exercise, walking is very easy to do since you need nothing except a good pair of athletic shoes to give you cushion and support.

Stronger bones/Tones muscles

Walking helps to build up the strength of your bones, making it less likely that they'll break. Walking helps to increase bone density, therefore improving how protected your internal organs are.

Walking is a relatively easy way to help tone your muscles, especially the muscles in your legs.

Reduces risk of diabetes

Walking regularly and exercise reduces the body's need for insulin by keeping your weight down. It also increases the body's sensitivity to insulin, so glucose is used more effectively. Your muscles burn glucose during exercise, naturally reducing your blood sugar level and your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Increases energy

Walking regularly has been proven to be more effective than taking a nap to boost your energy levels. Regular exercise boosts energy levels even among those who suffer with diabetes.

Improves blood pressure

Exercise can make a big difference to your blood pressure. Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart has the ability to pump more blood around your body with less effort and if your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.

There is no time like the present; start walking towards a healthier life today!

For more information or support and guidance please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The importance of exercise

People exercising - Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes

You might have diabetes. You might be trying to lessen the risk of diabetes. You might be concerned about the onset of prediabetes. Whatever your situation, there are always positives reasons to stay as active as you can. Taking exercise makes you feel better in yourself and reduces levels of stress. And it's a great way to keep on top of your weight and look after your health.

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Making time for exercise and being active generally helps the body use insulin more efficiently. So if you do have diabetes, keeping active can help lessen the amount of insulin you need. Physical exercise increases the levels of glucose used by the muscles, and can lower blood glucose levels.

There's a general feel good factor that comes with exercise. You'll be more mobile, you won’t be out of breath and many people report sleeping much more soundly. And research has shown that feeling depression and anxiety are reduced by daily exercise.

Health professionals recommend regular exercise for people of all ages as it has been shown to protect against all sorts of conditions, from Type 2 diabetes and cancer to heart disease and stroke.

Don't forget too that exercise is one activity that you can pursue absolutely free. Of course many people enjoy gyms, sports clubs and public swimming pools, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy regular exercise without reaching into your pocket at all.

Simple tips to make the most of physical activity

Person Cycling - Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes

If you have access to one and can afford it, then joining a gym is a terrific incentive to tackle an exercise regime head-on. But humans were fit and healthy well before the age of running machines, cross-trainers and skin tight Lycra - so don't ignore the many free and rewarding ways to enjoy an active lifestyle!

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Let's go behind the headlines and dig a little deeper. For a start, it's helpful to think about sugar by splitting them into two groups. The first is naturally occurring - such as lactose in milk. Then there is what is known as added sugar - such as table sugar and concentrated sources like fruit juice.

Walk or cycle rather than drive whenever you can. Fit in some press-ups or push-ups if you're able while you're waiting for the kettle to boil. And even take a few extra turns up and down the stairs. The opportunities are endless. Even household chores such as vacuum cleaning, gardening, shopping and DIY can be used to improve fitness.

One important point we would stress is to always speak to a healthcare professional before you begin an exercise regime. This is particular important if you have any kind of medical condition.

A good tip for a successful regime is always to start slow before building steady momentum. This will give time for your body to adjust, your muscles to strengthen, and your cardio vascular system to respond.

It sounds obvious but it really is true - the more you enjoy the activity, the more likely you are to keep at it and reap the rewards. So think about getting fit with friends, to make the activity a bit more of a social event. You could meet up for a run in the countryside, or even a walk in a local park. And how about a game of tennis, a swim at the local pool, or even a spot of dancing? It all counts.

Also choose an activity that you really enjoy. Many people find that returning to a sport they love - five a side football, horse-riding, netball, for example - gives them a real boost in later life. Look out for local clubs and societies.

Variety is another theme to bear in mind to make sure your exercise regime doesn't fall by the wayside. Vary your routine as much as possible and surprise yourself by trying new things. It’s a good way to keep stimulated and making sure an active lifestyle truly becomes a way of life.

Another couple of words of advice: never give up. Once you've started exercising your body will benefit, but the improvements may not be obvious or visible straightaway. So keep at it, be patient, and stay or track. You'll start feeling the rewards soon enough.

Quick advice for exercising at work

Work Exercise - Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes

Unfortunately many of us spend our days deskbound at work. If we're not careful, office life can encourage a sedentary lifestyle that can lead to weight and health problems. But there are ways to overcome potential problems - not least some quick and easy exercises that can be done in any office.

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Walking is an obvious one. Rather than send an email to someone on another floor, why not take the stairs to talk to them. Or get some fresh air at lunchtime and walk around the block in the neighbourhood.

Calf raises are simple and can be done anywhere. Simply stand with your legs a little apart and your hands on your hips. Raise your body up onto the balls of your feet, so you feel the movement in your calf muscles, and then lower yourself down. And repeat.

Chair dips can be done with your office chair! This is a great exercise for triceps. With your back to the chair, you simply grip the seat with your palms, put your heels out in front of you, and lower yourself down and up, keeping your back close to the edge of the chair.

Leg lifts are even more straightforward. Sit on your chair and lift one leg until it's straight and parallel to the ground. Hold it for a few seconds, then lower and repeat. Then obviously switch to the other leg.

Muscles clenches are easy too and really handy to strengthen muscle tone. Simply clench your abdominal or buttock muscles for several seconds then release.

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