Diabetes is a disease affecting more and more people each year, with estimates putting the number of infected at over 700 million by 2045, up from the current 400+ million today. There are 2 types of diabetes affecting the general population Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, the third (least common) kind of temporary diabetes is found in pregnant women and is called gestational diabetes.
Type I diabetes is caused by a failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin, or any insulin at all. This happens because of an autoimmune reaction in the body, where T Cells attack beta cells in the pancreas, leading to no insulin or loss of insulin. This type of diabetes makes up roughly 10% of all diabetes cases and unfortunately, there is no cure, although with regular insulin shots, type I diabetes sufferers can lead normal lives. The treatment is usually lifelong regular injections of insulin, to make up for the lack or absence of natural insulin in the body. Type I diabetes used to be called ‘juvenile diabetes’.
Type II diabetes has no known direct cause but is heavily associated with lifestyle choices and genetics. Some factors that are very correlated with type II diabetes are being overweight, obesity, lack of exercise, stress and a bad diet among other things. This type of diabetes affects nearly 90% of all patients around the world and occurs over a longer duration of the patient's life, often when it is detected early it can be slowed and even reversed in some cases. Type II diabetes is sometimes also known as adult-onset diabetes.
Studies have shown that for type 2 diabetes maintaining a healthy diet, having an ordinary bodyweight and performing exercises regularly can act as a preventative measure against getting the disease in the first place. Similarly, these 3 are often used as part of treatment with diabetes patients, along with medications.
Exercises for diabetes are often used with the goal of weight reduction and improving overall fitness. One easy and effective exercise for those trying to manage type II diabetes is walking. Daily 30 minute walks for at least 5 days in the week is more than enough in most cases, although your doctor might prescribe other exercises as well. Jogging and running are also great, however, these should be your next step after you get used to doing regular walks.
Type II diabetes most of the time goes hand in hand with weight issues, this also leads to joint pains, affecting the bones and muscles as well as potentially causing nerve damage. Due to these factors, arthritis is a high risk among diabetes patients, for this reason, cycling regularly can help as a method to combat diabetes-related health issues. With a low impact on joints, cycling can be an exercise for those facing early stages of arthritis in type II diabetes.
Swimming regularly has also been shown to improve blood-sugar levels in diabetes patients, the buoyancy and low muscle-stress also help with easing joint pain while providing ample exercise to the rest of the body. Swimming can also promote mental health, as many people find swimming to be a relaxing and calming exercise. If you do not know how to swim, kindly use the help of a trainer before you get started.
For those lacking the fortitude to maintain regular exercise on their own, team sports are often a better idea. Team sports have a social aspect as well as having a commitment to your team members, which should greatly increase your motivation to exercise on a regular basis. Recreational sports involving teams such as basketball, football, tennis are aerobic in nature which makes it a great diabetes exercise option.
Weightlifting is another exercise that can be helpful, however, it is essential that you speak with your doctor about this before starting. Also, use the help of a trained professional when just starting with weightlifting as you could hurt yourself. Similarly, another great form of exercise is all types of callisthenics such as pushups, sit-ups, crunches and squats.
Callisthenics are exercises your body is used to provide weight/resistance when working out. Calisthenic exercises might not be easy to start if you are overweight, however, with proper training it can provide much-needed help in your fight against diabetes. For both these, it is vital to talk to your doctor and seek their advice before starting either weightlifting or calisthenic exercises.
The most important factor in exercise for diabetic patients is being regular and not interrupting your exercise routine for many days. Regular safe exercising is a great tool in the fight against diabetes and should be as vital as your medication and your diet changes. Always consult your doctor regarding medicine, diet or exercise plans before starting anything new. This is even more essential if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and have no practice with physical exercising, or you’ve not exercised in a long time.
For more information you can always talk to a doctor online on DocsApp.