Update on Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise
The American Diabetes Association's position statement on physical
activity addresses the latest on preparing for exercise, getting started with
exercise, and the benefits of exercise for those with type 2 diabetes.
Preparing for Exercise - Always visit your doctor prior to starting an
exercise program. The following issues should be discussed with your
physician before starting exercise.
- Any diabetes complications you have and whether there are any exercises
you should avoid.
- How often and how much you should exercise.
- Hydration. Prior to exercise, ensure that you are properly
hydrated. Consume fluids during exercise to replace water losses from
- Selecting shoes and socks for exercise to avoid injury to feet.
- Warm up. A warm up should include 5-10 minutes of low intensity
aerobic activity (such as walking at an easy pace). Thereafter, gentle
stretching for an additional 5-10 minutes is recommended.
- Activity. Discuss with your physician about the amount of physical
activity you should do.
- Cool down. Following your physical activity, a 5-10 minute cool down
is recommended to slowly bring your heart rate back to the pre-exercise
Benefits of Exercise
- Blood sugar control - studies show regular exercise aids in carbohydrate
metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
- High blood fats - research indicates regular exercise reduces a blood fat
that is high in triglycerides.
- High blood pressure - evidence indicates regular exercise can reduce blood
pressure, in particular among those with hyperinsulinemia (results when the
level of insulin in the blood is higher than normal; due to overproduction
of insulin in the body and related to insulin resistance).
- Obesity - studies show exercise can help with weight loss and weight
maintenance especially when used in conjunction with an appropriate calorie
The American Diabetes Association indicates that exercise is of high
importance in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care for
Patients with Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Care, Volume 27, Supplement 1.
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Diabetes
Dictionary. National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases.