Physical Activity: The Basics, The Precautions, The Guidelines and More!

Implementing more activity and reducing sedentary behavior can lead to better outcomes and an improved lifestyle for diabetes patients, according to Kristen C. Ward, MS, RCEP, CDE, a Diabetes Health Coach/Consultant who presented at AADE19 in Houston, TX.

Increased exercise has been shown to improve blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients while contributing to weight loss, thus reducing cardiovascular risk factors. Regular exercise may also prevent or delay the progression of type 2 diabetes development.

A routine exercise regimen can also produce notable benefits in patients with type 1 diabetes (such as improving insulin sensitivity). Because the challenges related to blood sugar management can vary with diabetes type, each exercise should be tailored and monitored to meet the specific needs of each individual.

The presenter noted that even daily low-intensity aerobic exercise lasting an hour can enhance insulin production in obese, insulin-resistant adults for at least 24 hours, while also improving sleep, metabolism, muscle mass, energy, confidence, and quality of life. Moreover, exercise mitigates the odds of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), dementia, and some forms of cancer while contributing to weight loss.

Inactive or insufficiently active adults who sit a lot have an increased risk of both all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, as well as an increased risk of developing CVD, as well as colon, endometrial, and lung cancers. Therefore, both reducing sitting time and increasing physical activity yields benefits. People should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on a weekly basis, and those who not should gradually work toward this goal. Starting out, the amount of activity should be at a light-to-moderate in intensity over short periods of time and should be spread throughout the week.

People are likely to gain some health benefits even when they replace sitting time with light-intensity activity, and even for individuals exercising at a moderate level, as the presenter wrote, “some is better than none.”

Ward K. Physical Activity: The Basics, The Precautions, The Guidelines and More!

Presented at the AADE19 Meeting; August 9-12, 2019; Houston, TX.