Diabetes is one of the fastest growing problems facing the medical profession today and it is now widely accepted that exercise and type-2 diabetes are “arch-enemies”. In the US alone, diabetes is now one of the most common chronic (and often life-threatening) “lifestyle diseases,” with over 23 million already diagnosed and a further 56 million undiagnosed or pre-diabetic potential patients. The number of those who have the most common type-2 diabetes due to weight issues is a very sad statistic. More than 90% of those who have this type of diabetes could have avoided it or could change their lifestyle to address it and provide some relief and/or regression.

The National Institutes of Health report the following about diabetes and exercise:

“A person with type 2 diabetes can use exercise to help control their blood sugar levels and provide energy their muscles need to function throughout the day. By maintaining a healthy diet and sufficient exercise, a person with type 2 diabetes may be able to keep their blood sugar in the normal non-diabetic range without medication.”

Lack of exercise combined with excess body weight is one of the primary factors in the cause of type-2 diabetes. This is an area that nearly everyone can do something about with a few lifestyle changes and the determination not to become a blind, neuropathy challenged, obese, unhappy adult with a reduced life expectancy. That might sound a harsh judgment of your future as a diabetic but it is firmly based in reality. Without quoting too many more dull statistics, type-2 diabetes is the 7th biggest killer of people in the USA. The damage to the neural and vascular system causes heart attacks, a stroke, or kidney failure in over half of its victims.

So if you have type-2 diabetes, be under no illusions, you have a risk factor of 150% of having just one of these complications. That is to say that statistically, you WILL have one of these three life-threatening problems. Hopefully, I’ve grabbed your attention now, and if you already have diabetes or are in the high-risk bracket (overweight and inactive), read on because I would like more than anything to get you to easily change your life. Exercise can reduce diabetic risk by a huge 90% if taken regularly and consistently as a permanent lifestyle change. Those who are overweight need to add a dietary component to this change in lifestyle to ensure that the exercise they have in mind is not in vain.

The solution (for a change) is free!

The great thing about using exercise to address diabetes is that it is free. It’s all well and good if you want to join a gym but the same benefits can be gotten from some aerobic exercise at home. Strenuous exercise is not the solution! That’s great news for those who might be of killing themselves on a treadmill.

What is required is a consistent, daily exercise that raises your heart rate a little (not too much, but enough to make you huff and puff) and does not make you either too breathless or needing a rest afterward. The best exercise is a gentle bike ride, a brisk walk (no dawdling, and swing those arms) or a few lengths of a swimming pool. Stay away from the expensive exercise machine oriented gym – stick to methods that are appropriate for your weight and do not stress your body out. (As always, get advice first from your doctor.)

Do the right healthy thing

Half an hour a day at most is all that’s needed and it can be built-in to another activity like walking your dog for example. Don’t sit on that bench and throw a ball for your pet, take a brisk walk and kill two birds with one stone. It is so worth it when you consider the reduction in lifespan than a typical type-2 diabetic faces – thought about sensibly, exercise is not an option – it’s just the right thing to do.

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