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Importance of sports and physical activity among diabetes patients

Physical activity along with diet, medication and education forms the four pillars of diabetes management. Exercise does not only mean strenuous workout in gym; a simple walk for 30 min/day can be also considered as exercise. If done properly as advised, exercise will immensely benefit diabetics. Exercise not only helps to improve diabetes but also enhances quality of life.

Benefits of physical activity in type 2 diabetes includes
– Increases energy expenditure and promotes weight loss
– Increases insulin sensitivity and may reduce the requirement of insulin or – — oral hypoglycaemic drugs.
– Improves cardiovascular health, blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels.
– sleep and quality of life.
– Decreases glucose production from liver
– Decreases circulating insulin levels
– Improves HbA1C (3 months average sugar).
– Enhanced feelings of well-being
– Reduced risk of depression.
– Better weight control
– strengthens muscles and bones
– helps boost person’s self-esteem and confidence. 

Some researches have shown that regular physical activity reduces the risk of coronary heart disease in people with diabetes by 35%-55%.The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend carrying out at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensive aerobic activity, or at least 90 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week.

ADA recommends all individuals including diabetics: to limit the amount of time being spent sedentary/sitting (> 90 min), to break up extended amounts of sitting time

• Prediabetics: At least 60 min of exercise each day

• Diabetics: At least 150 min/week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise
spread over at least 3 days/week with no more than 2 consecutive days
without exercise. Resistance training, if not contraindicated, should be
performed at least twice per week.

Earlier, exercise recommendations for people with diabetes have focused on aerobic exercise. Recent studies shown that resistance exercise (eg, weight lifting or push-ups) improves insulin sensitivity similar to that of aerobic exercise. physical activity also helps in reducing the risk of complications of diabetes. For all people of all ages it boosts the immune system and helps protect against conditions such as: Heart disease, Stroke, Cancer and other major illnesses.

Exercise is an important part of any diabetes treatment plan. To avoid potential problems, patient should check their blood sugar before, during and after exercise. This will show them how their body responds to exercise, which can help them to prevent potentially dangerous blood sugar fluctuations. It is always recommended to speak to your doctor before starting with any exercise or any physical activity routine.

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