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Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that affects more than four million people in the UK, and 90 percent of all cases are caused by type 2 diabetes. In order to safely treat the condition, diet and exercise are key. According to health experts and studies, one of the best forms of exercise you can do to help treat your diabetes is aerobic exercises.
The adoption and maintenance of physical activity is critical for blood glucose management and overall health in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Exercise improves blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes, reduces cardiovascular risk factors, contributes to weight loss, and improves well-being.
Regular exercise may prevent or delay type 2 diabetes development.
When it comes to the best type of exercise to embark on for treatment of type 2 diabetes, aerobic exercise has come up on top.
Aerobic exercise involves repeated and continuous movement of large muscle groups.
Activities such as walking, cycling, jogging, and swimming rely primarily on aerobic energy-producing systems.
Aerobic training increases mitochondrial density, insulin sensitivity, oxidative enzymes, compliance and reactivity of blood vessels, lung function, immune function, and cardiac output, said the American Diabetes Association.
The health site added: “Moderate to high volumes of aerobic activity are associated with substantially lower cardiovascular and overall mortality risks in type 2 diabetes.”
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In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of health, treatment options for type 2 diabetes was further investigated.
The study noted: “Both aerobic and resistance exercises have demonstrated benefits in people with diabetes through increased glucose uptake and decreased insulin resistance.
“Though aerobic exercise in isolation seems to get better benefits that resistance exercise, in patients with diabetes is recommended the combination of both types because the effect is greater than if each one is performed in isolation.
“This type of training has been traditionally recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes.
“A frequency of at least three times per week is recommended, preferably if it can be increased to five days with no more than two consecutive days between periods of activity, because the increase of the sensitivity and the glucose tolerance is maintained for about 12 to 24 hours.
“It should be done with moderate intensity which is 40 to 60 percent of maximum aerobic capacity.
“This corresponds to 55 to 69 percent of maximum heart rate according to age.”
Aerobic exercise is integral for a healthy heart and for managing blood glucose levels.
Regular aerobic exercise can also lead to weight loss which is paramount for effective type 2 diabetes treatment.
The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse recommends that you get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days a week to get the most benefits.
Benefits of aerobic exercise on a person’s health include:
- Decreases your body fat, including harmful visceral (belly) fat
- Helps ward off diabetes complications, such as heart disease and kidney problems
- Helps you lose weight and keep it off
- Increase your energy and mood
- Keeps your heart and bones healthy and your joints strong
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces bad cholesterol levels and improves good cholesterol levels
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