Diabetes is a serious health problem triggered by different factors like an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle and other health conditions like obesity. It affects all demographics with increased prevalence in some races. Also known as diabetes mellitus, diabetes is a composition of several metabolic disorders that results to high levels of blood sugar.

The types of diabetes are classified according to the reason for the increase in blood sugar.

  • The first of type diabetes is a result of the body’s insufficient production of insulin; this is type 1 diabetes. A person with type 1 diabetes will need insulin medication which is normally injected to the body in order to manage blood sugar level.
  • Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, results to the body cells’ resistance to insulin in order to properly metabolize sugar. This condition may also be worsened by the insufficient production of insulin.

Diabetes can be diagnosed at an early stage. The condition can be genetic but lifestyle factors also play a big role in influencing the onset of the disease. Different studies have shown that the lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet can significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes. The first and most common symptoms of diabetes are:

  • frequent urination or polyuria
  • increased hunger or polyphagia
  • increased thirst or polydipsia

If the three symptoms are felt, the person is advised to go to a physician and undergo sugar blood test.

Unmanaged blood sugar can lead to several health complications; the simplest is the physiological change of the shape of the lenses in the eyes. This leads to vision changes but this effect can be easily handled by lowering blood sugar through lifestyle changes and by controlling one’s diet. In type 1 diabetes, vision change is rapid.  In type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, visual problems appear more gradually. The traditional treatment of diabetes primarily involves the introduction of insulin to the body to help it lower blood sugar level. Nowadays, more and more medical experts turn in to the natural ways of dealing with diabetes. They advise patients to limit their sugar intake and participate in more physical activities in order to manage weight and stimulate the metabolism of glucose.

The risk of developing diabetes is highly influenced by genetics, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol levels and smoking. Unhealthy diet and lack of exercise has also been proven to elevate the risk. Though medications to treat the disease is highly available, the health hazards of its continuous application poses a great risk of trading one serious health condition for another. Alternative procedures to manage blood sugar are being continuously discovered by studies to be effective in better managing diabetes without the adverse effects. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the efficacy of combination exercise in managing the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Combination Exercise against Diabetes

A group of researchers from the Louisiana State University conducted a study evaluating the effects of combination exercise to type 2 diabetes patients. They found that the combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise can offer significant health benefits to type 2 diabetes patients by helping them manage their blood sugar levels. The results of the study were compared to diabetes management plans with either type of exercise and with no exercise at all. Researchers said that exercise can give numerous benefits to type 2 diabetes patients but despite that, it is unclear which type of exercise has greater benefits in managing the condition. This is what they aimed to find out.

The researchers gathered a group of 262 men and women who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and who did not use exercise as a means of managing their condition. The researchers compared the effects of aerobic exercise, resistance training program and a combination of the two against not exercising. After the nine-month study period, the researchers observed a significant change in the blood sugar levels in study participants who took the combination exercise program. In addition to this, the patients also needed lesser pharmaceutical medication in order to manage the disease compared to the other groups. The group who did not exercise needed to increase their medication by 39 percent compared to the group which took resistance training, 22 percent against aerobic exercise and 18 percent compared to combination exercise.

The head of the research team, Timothy S. Church, said that even though both aerobic and resistance training program have been proven to be beneficial to diabetes management, the combination of the two programs produced better results. He added that it is also important to consider the lower blood sugar levels in the combination group compared to the group with no exercise despite the latter having increased usage of diabetes medication.

The Many Health Benefits of Frequent Exercise

The list of the many health benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle can just go on and on. Here are some examples:

  • Exercising in most days of the week has been found to extend a person’s life expectancy by improving his resistance against diseases. Maintaining an active lifestyle is just as important as eating the right kinds of food.
  • Diet and exercise come hand in hand. Exercise improves the digestion, absorption and metabolism of food. This helps the body get more of the foods we eat.
  • For a fact, participating in physical activities can be fun. Playing sports, going to the gym or jogging around the park can be an effective means to socialize with other people, meet new friends and spending time with family and friends.
  • Exercise can also promote better sleep. People who exercise more have been found to sleep faster and better.
  • Participating in physical activities can also improve ones mood and energy levels.
  • On top of all these, exercise is an effective means of managing and maintaining body weight. People who don’t exercise are found to be more at risk to grow obese and are more prone to develop serious health conditions. In diabetes prevention, for example, exercising is utilized as a means of improving metabolism, control weight and shed out excess pounds.
  • Other diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases have also been associated with the lack of exercise, along with an unhealthy diet.
  • Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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