»  News
 »  Reducing Risk of Long-Term Complications through Exercise
Diabetes1 Headlines

Reducing Risk of Long-Term Complications through Exercise

Printer Friendly Version     Email this Article     Links/Reprints

Reducing Risk of Complications through Exercise

Reducing Risk of Long-Term Complications through Exercise

September 17, 2008


By: Laurie Edwards for Diabetes1


Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, regular exercise is crucial in terms of reducing the risk of serious long-term complications and improving overall health and quality of life. Mapping out an exercise regimen with your physician, personal trainer, or diabetes educator is a good first step. Keep in mind that starting an exercise program is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make – and once you understand how and why to do so, implementing these changes is not difficult.


Before you get moving, it’s important to understand the different terms used in discussing physical activity:


Aerobic exercise includes activities like brisk walking, riding a bike, and other forms of exercise that get your heart rate up and your blood flowing without being high-impact. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (50 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate) or 90 minutes of vigorous exercise (more than 70 percent of maximum heart rate) per week to help maintain glycemic control.

Take Action
Exercise Tips
  • Know your risks – people with diabetes face a higher than average risk of heart disease, so always consult with a physician before starting any kind of exercise regimen.
  • Certain blood pressure medications can affect your ability to exercise, so discuss the optimal balance of exertion and medication with your doctor.
  • Getting bored with your workout? Speak with a physical trainer about your condition and your long term fitness goals, and he or she can help you tailor a new workout that is challenging, interesting, and healthy.
  • Strength training uses weights and certain exercises to build lean muscle and increase flexibility. The ADA suggests performing this kind of activity three times a week and building up to three sets of repetitions of 8 to 10. You should be using weights that, after completion of a repetition, leave your muscles fatigued.


    Exercise and Type 1 Diabetes


    People with type 1 diabetes have no choice but to use insulin to regulate their blood sugar. Since intensive diabetes control or certain insulin regimens can sometimes result in weight gain, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease on its own, regular exercise is doubly beneficial.


    Hypertension and cardiovascular disease remain some of the most serious long-term complications of diabetes, and exercise can combat them. Research shows that for people with type 1 diabetes, exercise can increase sensitivity to insulin, making it more effective at stabilizing blood sugar levels.


    Exercise also lowers blood pressure and helps lower cholesterol, a benefit for those who fear the effect of their disease on their heart.


    Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes


    Excess weight is the number one risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and even modest weight loss is effective in slowing the progression of diabetes and reducing cardiovascular risk in those already diagnosed with the disease. Since some of the oral medications used to treat type 2 diabetes also increase the risk of weight gain, establishing a regular fitness routine as early as possible is the best way to stave off further complications.


    In addition to keeping weight down and heart rates up, regular exercise also increases sensitivity to insulin in people with type 2 diabetes, and more stable blood sugars are better for overall cardiovascular health.


    Safety Tips

    Because blood sugars can fluctuate significantly during exercise, you should keep in mind the following considerations:

    • Avoid exercise if glucose levels are under 100 mg/dL or over 300 mg/dL, and always test before, during, and after any workout.
    • Whenever possible, try to avoid hypoglycemia by injecting insulin as far away from the muscles you will use most vigorously.
    • Drink plenty of fluids, and remember that you may need to decrease your insulin dose or consume more carbohydrates before your workout.
    • People with retinopathy, another complication of diabetes, should avoid especially high-impact exercise, as it can weaken blood vessels in the eyes.
    Discuss Exercise and Diabetes in our Forums More Forums

    Previous Stories

    The Cost of Diabetes Healthcare: Crunching the Numbers

    Diabetes and Depression: When Should You Talk To Your Doctor?

    Children and Diabetes: Figuring Out Financing

    more Feature Stories


  • Add Comment

  • RSS
    From the BLOGS
    Comment By ricvisa
    more Blogs
    By FatCatAnna

    Posted: Mar 17, 2017
     Thanks for that Andre77 ... though in this area where you've posted "Type 1 Diabetes" - we already know we've got diabetes (50+ years for me).   DiabetesUK has a pretty good description of ...

    more more Forums Create a Topic
    Your Treat Medication Part 5
    Injecting Insulin-Treatment Plan: Diabetes Medications
    Guide to preparing for insulin injection using a syringe ...
    more more Featured Videos
    Cost Savings Tool
    Do you know the annual cost of managing your diabetes? Would you like to find ways to reduce your costs? Calculate your total budget and identify ways to save money. You can do this in just a few minutes by entering facts about the products you use. This quick analysis will provide you with a comprehensive overview of both spending and potential savings.

    Cost Savings Tool
    Monitor Comparison Tools
    Blood glucose monitors offer an easy way to test your blood sugar at home or on the go. Use this comparison tool as a guide to learn more about the features and benefits of your current monitor or to find a new one.
    Handheld Monitor Comparison
    Continuous Glucose Monitor Comparison
    Advanced BMI Calculator
    Ever wonder if you are at a healthy weight? Then enter your height and weight in our advanced Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. This tool provides you with two important numbers reflecting the estimated impact of your present body weight and shape upon your overall health.
    Advanced BMI Calculator
    more Care Tools
    Dr. Wayne Caputo

    Dr. Wayne Caputo:

    Simplifying Treatment of Diabetic Ulcers
      more Heroes
      nominate a Hero
      Hero policy
    Home | About Us | Press | Make a Suggestion | Content Syndication | Terms of Service | Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy
    Last updated: Jul 22, 2019  © 2019 Body1 All rights reserved.