Daily exercise is one of the cornerstones of good diabetes care. In addition to the obvious benefit of providing fuel for our body which helps lower the blood glucose level, exercise improves the effectiveness of whatever insulin our body can produce, helps combat depression, helps retain muscle mass and enhances metabolism.
But too often we find excuses not to get our daily dose of this magical elixir: It is too dark, too light, too cold, too hot, I don’t have time, my knee hurts … the list goes on and on. But our bodies were built to move and over the years our activity level has diminished with the popularity of computers, automobiles and “progress.”
In 2010, the American College of Sports Medicine and American Diabetes Association issued updated guidelines on exercise for people with diabetes.
An article published in the January 2011 issue of Clinical Endocrinology News states that “people with diabetes should undergo strength training two or three times a week, get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week and go no more than two consecutive days without a workout.”
The 2000 Exercise Guidelines emphasized only aerobic exercise, but it was found that a combination of aerobic and resistance training improved HgA1c (3-month glucose average) more than either one alone.
The benefits of exercise are independent of weight loss and probably are insufficient to produce a significant weight change, but the 2010 study emphasized that even highly overweight and sedentary people need to be encouraged to exercise, as the benefits far outweigh the risks for someone with diabetes.
Resistance training helps increase muscle strength and enhance bone density while aerobic training helps to increase the strength of the heart.
According to the exercise study, resistance training minimally should include 5-10 exercises involving the major muscle groups (upper body, lower body and core muscles) and involve completion of 10-15 repetitions to near-fatigue per set.
Aerobic training will increase your heart rate and impact your breathing pattern. There are formulas to calculate your heart rate goal, but a simple method is to exert yourself so that you can talk but cannot sing. For most people, aerobic exercise from a brisk walk for 30 minutes will provide the needed benefits.
Remember that any activity will benefit your ability to control your diabetes, so get moving!
I am pleased to announce that registered dietician Erika VanCalcar is the guest speaker at the monthly Diabetes Support group at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 2, at the Sequim Senior Activity Center, 921 E. Hammond St.
Come and learn more about the impact of nutrition on your diabetes at this free presentation.
Susan Sorensen is a registered nurse who does diabetes education in the community and can be reached at www.starladydiabetes.com.
Recognize, research, and act
Thu, Oct 27, 2011
New goals for eating healthy
Fri, Sep 30, 2011
A diabetes Q & A
Wed, Aug 24, 2011
Mouth maintenance important for diabetics
Tue, Jul 26, 2011
Practice safety this summer
Wed, Jun 22, 2011
Celebs shed light on diabetes
Thu, May 26, 2011
Common-sense meal planning
Wed, Apr 27, 2011
Prepare for the ‘big one,’ with or without diabetes
Wed, Mar 23, 2011
Working out works
Wed, Feb 23, 2011
Sugar substitutes, pros and cons
Tue, Jan 25, 2011
Intensive control works
Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Magic keys to avoiding diabetes
Tue, Oct 26, 2010
Wed, Sep 15, 2010
Preparing for the worst
Wed, Aug 18, 2010
Teeth care is key
Wed, Jun 16, 2010
Gardening safely needs only planning
Wed, May 19, 2010
Star shines on the basics
Wed, Apr 21, 2010
Count carbs for health
Wed, Mar 17, 2010
Sugar can sour your health
Wed, Feb 17, 2010
Meter measures effects of food and exercise
Wed, Jan 20, 2010