Diet is of the utmost importance for diabetics when it comes to managing their insulin levels; however, studies show that regular exercise is just as important in controlling blood glucose levels.
“Exercise is a cornerstone of diabetes management, along with dietary and pharmacological interventions. Current guidelines recommend that patients with type 2 diabetes should perform at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and should perform resistance exercise 3 times per week. Regular exercise improves glucose control in diabetes, but the association of different exercise training interventions on glucose control is unclear.” JAMA
The results from these tests showed that subjects were engaged in structured exercise showed a decline in HbA1c levels – a marker of glucose control:
- Structured exercise = a decline of .67% in HbA1c
- Structured aerobic exercise = a decline of .73% HbA1c
- Structured resistance training = a decline of .57% HbA1c
- Structured aerobic exercise and resistance training = a decline of .51% HbA1c
“Structured exercise durations of more than 150 minutes per week were associated with HbA1c reductions of 0.89 percent, while structured exercise durations of 150 minutes or less per week were associated with HbA1c reductions of 0.36 percent. Overall, interventions of physical activity advice (24 studies) were associated with lower HbA1c levels (-0.43 percent) compared with control participants. Combined physical activity advice and dietary advice was associated with decreased HbA1c (-0.58 percent) as compared with control participants. Physical activity advice alone was not associated with HbA1c changes,” the authors write.
“This systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs demonstrates important findings regarding the prescription of structured exercise training. First, aerobic, resistance, and combined training are each associated with HbA1c decreases, and the magnitude of this reduction is similar across the 3 exercise modalities. … Second, our findings demonstrate that structured exercise of more than 150 minutes per week is associated with greater declines in HbA1c than structured exercise of 150 minutes or less per week in patients with type 2 diabetes. This finding is important because the current guideline-recommended exercise duration is at least 150 minutes per week. Although high-intensity exercise has been previously shown to have an association with HbA1c reduction, our findings did not demonstrate that more intensive exercise was associated with greater declines in HbA1c.”
Exercise in combination with diet is key to managing diabetes in an effective manner. Supplementing your diet with a high quality whey protein supplement like ISOFLEX with zero carbs and zero sugar can help provide your body with much-needed nutrients without any insulin rush. Protein helps build lean muscle tissue and the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn and the less fat you have. With lowered BMIs comes an improvement in health and this is particularly important for diabetics.
Make sure you talk to your healthcare professional before engaging in any exercise to help you find a program that works with your particular physical abilities. For instance, if your eyesight has suffered from being diabetic, then something like running or team sports may not be ideal, but something like Nordic Walking that uses the aid of walking sticks could just be the perfect aerobic exercise for you. You must also get into the habit of checking your blood glucose before, during and after exercise. Make sure to record these readings, so you become familiar with how your body reacts to exercise. Research shows that it is important not to exercise when your insulin is at its highest. Exercising 1-3 hours after a meal is recommended.
Finally, invest in a good pair of supportive shoes and protect those valuable feet.
JAMA and Archives Journals. “Structured exercise training associated with improved glycemic control for patients with diabetes.” ScienceDaily, 4 May 2011. Web. 29 May 2011.