Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Diabetes And Exercise

Ask A Trainer, from Scott Fushi, trainer at Midtown Fitness Center, Putnam CT.

Question: I have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Will an exercise program help control and treat this?

Answer: Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes can both be positively impacted through aerobic and resistance training. Talk with your doctor about their specific recommendations when designing your workout program. Research from the University of Michigan has shown than just one session of exercise can prevent primary symptoms of by improving insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance or the body’s inability to utilize sugar in your own blood can lead to high blood sugar and left unchecked possibly diabetes.

It is good common sense that an active and healthy lifestyle is good for the body and all its’ functions. When that common sense is not followed, obesity and poor nutrition can lead to the development of Type 2 or age onset diabetes. This “age onset” diabetes is now being found in people earlier than ever before. So much so that the term “age onset” is no longer used because Type 2 is now being diagnosed in young teens. The health and medical obstacles this presents, severely impacts the life of the individual and their family. Research has shown that combined aerobic and resistance training can more than double the improvements in your bodies critical ability to stabilize those blood sugar levels. This is called glycemic control and it is a key factor in helping “Type 2’s”minimize the health risks caused by diabetes and maximize their control of this disease. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention all diabetics can benefit from exercise programs because the results of improved heart function and circulation reduce the risk of heart disease and nerve damage.

This information “prescribes exercise” as one of the leading treatment plans for diabetes patients. The good news is that this “prescription” is inexpensive and relatively easy to fill by yourself with a little effort. Whether it is a simple walking and calisthenics program at home or visits to the local health club (be sure to consult a trainer if you want help getting started)… you can take charge of your own health care. This will not only help you with your diabetes, but other positive “side effects” to look for are improved energy, less pain in joints or muscles, improved work or play capacity and a sense of accomplishment that you did this for you and your loved ones.

The financial aspects cannot be overlooked as well. The costs of health care plans and premiums continue to escalate. You’re out of pocket costs as well as the “big picture” costs can be improved as your own health and fitness improves. I for one have better things to do with the money I save from one less copay per month or one less prescription. It all adds up to more money kept in your pocket as you invest a little time and effort into your own health.

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