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Type Two Diabetes - Exercises with positive Benefits

Updated on January 12, 2012

We all need exercise, whether we are diabetic or not. For those with type 2 diabetes, exercise is vital as the benefits have a positive impact on the condition itself.

Before anyone starts an exercise program, they should have a complete medical check-up to make sure that there are no other conditions that may limit the type or amount of exercise your body can tolerate. Once you have been given the all clear by your doctor you are ready to begin.

Type 2 diabetes benefits most from both resistance and aerobic exercise. Always choose activities that you enjoy. Exercise should be a lifelong commitment which will be easier if it is pleasurable.

For your aerobic exercise, you can walk, skate, dance, cycle, swim, run, or play any sport, organized or otherwise that gets and sustains your heart pumping. Walking is probably the simplest aerobic exercise and the most economical. It is easy to sustain a steady pace and speed up as you become more fit. Aerobic exercise helps those with type 2 diabetes to better manage blood glucose levels. It also fights depression and eases stress which often affects those with difficult medical condition.

Aerobic exercise to be beneficial must be sustained at a level that stays within 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is largely determined by your age and is about 220 minus your age.

Strength Training is the other important aspect of exercise for type 2 diabetes. It also improves glucose control for those taking diabetic medication. Strength training also reduces body fat, improves muscle tone and builds bone mass. Strength training should begin gradually. Later on the weight lifted can increase as can the number of repetitions. It is well worth investing in a gym membership and even a few training sessions to learn how to lift properly.

Always remember to warm up before both aerobic exercise, and strength training.

A good exercise routine for type 2 diabetics should start off with three sessions per week. Each session should involve a ten minute warm-up, a period of aerobic exercise and strength training, then a five minute cool down.

Increase your workouts from three times weekly to five times weekly and the length of your sessions from thirty minutes to one full hour. This routine does not have to be tedious, especially if you choose an aerobic activity that you enjoy.

The warm-up and cool down are important parts of your routine so do not neglect them.

Make sure you have the right equipment, especially the right shoes. Start slowly and set realistic goals. An exercise buddy will help keep you on task. Your endurance will come gradually. Knowing that your health will improve with exercise and then actually seeing it happen will be the best motivators.

Remember to stay hydrated. Listen to your body and do not ignore any disturbing symptoms. Exercise may be a bit tiring but it should never hurt. Consult your doctor if you have any health concerns whatsoever. Understand the affect physical activity may have on your blood glucose. Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and always carry a fast-acting carbohydrate, if your doctor advises.


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    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Nice to hear from someone who is living it - walking is one of the two best exercises that you can do for the rest of your life - plus it's free and needs no equipment - the other great exercise is swimming - it's especially good for people whose knees won't carry their weight very far - B.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Billips, You are right that exercise is good for type II diabetes. In fact, I would say a must.Almost any aerobic exercise is good.Walking is my personal choice and I combine it with walking my dog. Twenty minutes a day is supposed to be sufficient but I do a bit more than that now. I've been treated for diebetes for about fifteen

      Sharing your article with my fans.years.

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Nice to hear from you Teaches 12345 - I am so glad you found this hub useful - I am happy your son is doing well - B.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Our son was recently diagnosed with Diabetes Type-2. He gave us quite a scare but we are glad he is on top of it now. Thank you for sharing this valuable information. I am going to forward on to him and others who can use advice. Voted up!

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you for your kind comments Nikki - I am glad you found the article useful - B.

    • Nikki D. Felder profile image

      Nikki D. Felder 

      6 years ago from Castle Hayne, N.C.

      I enjoyed these tips. I had a bout with diabetes during my pregnancy last. To ensure it doesn't come back I would behoove me to employ such exercises! Thanks, Nikki D. Felder

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks so much for your comments - they are all the more meaningful coming from someone who know first hand the importance of both exercise and diet - regards - B.

    • agvulpes profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      As someone with type 2 diabetes I wholeheartedly endorse this Hub. Follow this regime and eat the correct foods and you can't go too far wrong :-)

    • mirror_eyes profile image


      7 years ago from north Texas

      Good tips. I always worry about my hypoglycemia morphing into type 2 diabetes as I have heard can happen. The best way I've found to manage my blood sugar level is to exercise regularly (aerobic & weight training), not only for the direct benefit but also because exercise helps curb my cravings for sugar and other refined carbs. Thanks for the good hub, billips!


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