Exercise & Type 2 Diabetes: Benefits and Guidelines

Face the challenge head on and add exercise to your treatment plan for type 2 diabetes.

Exercise is good for you no matter what; even if type 2 diabetes is making the transition into an physical activity regimen difficult. Type 2 diabetes is defined as the body's inability to move blood sugar, which is glucose, into the cells due to your body being insulin resistant. Insulin is needed to move the sugar.

Treatment for type 2 diabetes varies from dietary changes to medication. However, exercise can be a major component in treatment due to its benefits.

Reap the benefits
Regular exercise can actually mitigate your type 2 diabetes symptoms and effects. Exercising makes your body more sensitive to insulin, helps you lose weight and lowers the level of fats in your blood. Aerobic exercise takes your heart rate up while resistance training builds muscles. Both types of exercise help improve long-term glucose control. 

Guidelines for exercise
To get the most out of exercise, but not over do it, follow these recommendations:

  • Participate in moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes each week.
  • Spread your aerobic exercise over three days, with no more than two consecutive days.
  • Add resistance training at least two days, but preferably three days each week on nonconsecutive days.
  • Increase your overall activity. For example, walk more and take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Before putting a fitness plan into action, talk to your physician about your plan. If you have any questions about managing your diabetes or if you would like to request a physician referral, please call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5120.

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