Regular physical activity helps the body to use insulin properly, keeping glucose, fat and cholesterol levels in the blood under control. Reducing the amounts of glucose and fat in the blood avoids damage to organs and blood vessels. To reduce your risk, you need to include both aerobic exercise and strength training. Strength training is especially important, because it improves your body’s ability to burn fuel for energy. This is achieved by changing the way your muscles store glucose and fat. Strength training also prevents you from losing muscle and bone when you lose weight.
Strength (or resistance) training means any activity that makes your muscles work harder than usual. Examples include lifting weights using machine weights or using your own body weight, such as squats or push-ups. You should increase the intensity of this type of exercise as you become stronger, to continue to receive the benefits.
Aerobic activity is also necessary in the management of Diabetes. It should be of a moderate to vigorous intensity. This means it should increase your breathing and your heart rate to a point where you can still talk, but you couldn’t sing. If your level of activity doesn’t make you breathe faster than usual, it’s not intense enough. On the other hand, if it makes you lose your breath to the extent that you can’t talk, it’s too intense.
To ensure the best results and take into account other conditions or injuries you may have, it is important to have some guidance by an exercise physiologist.