The Role of Exercise for Diabetes- National Diabetes Week 2023

We all know the countless benefits that consistent exercise can have for us, but this week we are looking at the role it can play for someone living with diabetes. The reason for this? It’s National Diabetes Week!

In Australia, a person is diagnosed with diabetes every 5 minutes and it is estimated around 1.9 million people are living with this disease. With statistics like this, it is important that we ALL know about diabetes and what we can do about it. 

Before we get started, lets touch on what diabetes is and how it affects us:

Diabetes is when there is too much glucose in your blood. Glucose is the main source of energy for our bodies and it is important we maintain healthy levels. The two main types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Both forms are associated with insulin, which is important in the role of keeping your blood sugar levels in check! 

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which occurs when someone's pancreas does not produce enough insulin. The cause of this type is unknown and it has not been linked with lifestyle factors.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or loses the ability to produce enough insulin. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with lifestyle factors such as being physically inactive and not eating well.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for diabetes and if our blood sugar levels are left unmanaged it can lead to other health implications and chronic conditions such as:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Nerve Damage 
  • Kidney Damage 
  • Eye Damage 

Now we understand all this, what can we do to help manage it? 

One of the best ways we can manage diabetes is through lifestyle modification. For diabetes this generally involves two components, diet and EXERCISE!

Exercise can be a really powerful tool for managing diabetes. The main mechanism for this is by improving how our muscles respond to insulin, which, in turn, helps regulate our blood glucose levels for hours after exercise.

As well as this, exercise can help prevent and manage chronic conditions associated with diabetes through: 

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing your risk of heart disease
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Now you know what to do about it, don't let your diabetes take over your life. Get on top of it early and reduce the negative impact it can potentially have. Find a form of exercise and physical activity that you enjoy and get moving! Remember that ‘Movement is Medicine’ and can be a HUGE benefit to your lifestyle! 

It is recommended that if you have diabetes you seek support and guidance if you are looking to incorporate more exercise into your lifestyle. There are some important factors to consider, especially if you are on medications or insulin. This is because physical activity can help insulin work more effectively, sometimes lowering blood glucose levels too much.

Medicare recognises the importance of expert advice and support and provides subsidies for those with Type 2 Diabetes to access Exercise Physiology services. ⁠

At EP Physio Plus we offer individual and group sessions to our clients to help manage their diabetes, call us today on 8682 6665 to join our diabetes family.⁠

Book now
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