Wednesday, October 3, 2012

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Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus - Exercise benefits and regime

The positive benefits of exercise in a diabetic patient include:
1) cardiovascular risk reduction,
2) reduced blood pressure,
3) maintenance of muscle mass,
4) reduction in body fat and weight loss,
5) lowering plasma glucose (during and following exercise) and
6) increasing insulin sensitivity.

Also since the diabetics lack the normal glucoregulatory mechanisms, they are more prone to be affected by either hypo or hyperglycemia if exercising. That is why it is better to have the blood glucose monitored before, during and after the exercises.
It is not advised to do exercises if the blood glucose level is below 5.6 mmol/L or more than 14 mmol/L with ketones present.

The exercise regime recommended is as follows:
1) At least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week distributed over at least 3 days. One example of such a moderately intense exercise is brisk walking.
2) Ideally resistance training should also be done for 3 non consecutive days per week. e.g. small weight lifting.

Use of pedometer applications in mobile phone devices is also favoured. Studies have found that doing 10,000 steps per day is a good indicator of proper physical activity and will be beneficial on the long run.

Another important finding in a recent study found that in diabetic patients who did little or no exercise at baseline, cut their risk of death by 2/3 if they substantially increase their physical activity level over a period of 5 years.

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