Diabetes And Exercise

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Diabetes And Exercise
Diabetes And Exercise

Video: Diabetes And Exercise

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Video: Diabetes and Exercise 2023, February

Diabetes and exercise

The development of type 2 diabetes is favored by obesity and lack of exercise. Both risk factors contribute to typical insulin resistance. Targeted exercise therapy is therefore an essential part of the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The aim is to avoid excess calories, lose weight and improve energy metabolism and the effect of insulin in the long term.

Regular physical exercise and sport are good for everyone's health. People with diabetes or metabolic syndrome benefit particularly from it.


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  • What does a sedentary lifestyle have to do with type 2 diabetes?
  • ">What are the benefits of exercise for type 2 diabetes?


  • How much exercise is recommended?
  • Therapy active - diabetes under control
  • Whom can I ask?


Physical training has various positive effects with regard to type 2 diabetes: On the one hand, it improves the insulin resistance of the cells, ie cells respond better to insulin in terms of sugar absorption, which explains the blood sugar-lowering effect. On the other hand, more glucose is consumed by the muscle growth, and the basal metabolic rate and thus the calorie consumption increase. These effects reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, one of the most common consequences of diabetes.

What does a sedentary lifestyle have to do with type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a typical disease of civilization. In the past, older people were particularly affected, but the past few years have shown that younger people are developing type 2 diabetes more and more often. One of the main causes is the imbalance between calorie intake and consumption. Above all, the significant decrease in the range of motion in recent decades in connection with overeating is likely to be responsible for many people. You can find more information under Exercise & Energy Metabolism

What does movement do?

Muscle cells use between 50 and 70 percent of the glucose that is ingested with food. It is therefore obvious that the treatment or prevention of diabetes starts with the metabolism of the muscle cells: the better it works, the better the sugar can be processed and the more effectively the blood sugar is lowered.

A combination of endurance and strength training seems to be particularly beneficial. Regular endurance training causes numerous adaptations in the muscles, which have a positive effect on the metabolism of the muscle cells. The absorption and metabolism of glucose is improved and the blood sugar level drops.

Strength training has a blood sugar-lowering effect that is comparable to that of endurance training. Among other things, it improves the action of insulin and reduces excess fat deposits in the cells. In addition, regular training increases the proportion of muscle mass - another positive effect: more muscle mass means more energy expenditure. The body weight can initially remain the same. More information under exercise and body weight.

What are the benefits of exercise for type 2 diabetes?

The physical effects of exercise therapy have been very well researched for type 2 diabetes and its precursors. Movement starts directly at the causes.

Regular exercise

  • lowers blood sugar, blood lipids and blood pressure,
  • helps you lose weight,
  • increases the fitness of the heart and lungs and
  • improves the action of insulin.

Regular exercise as an important pillar of therapy

Regular exercise helps to positively influence the risk factors for the development or worsening of type 2 diabetes and to avoid secondary diseases. Those affected also benefit from the many other positive effects of exercise on the body. Exercise is - in addition to diet and possible drug therapy - an important pillar of therapy for type 2 diabetes.

How much exercise is recommended?

People with an increased risk of diabetes and existing type 2 diabetes should coordinate their exercise program with the doctor in charge. The following recommendations generally apply:

  • People at increased risk of type 2 diabetesAccording to the recommendations of experts, you should regularly exercise moderate intensity - at least 2½ hours or 150 minutes of endurance training per week, with the individual training units each lasting at least 30 minutes. Examples of suitable activities are brisk walking, Nordic walking or hiking, swimming or cycling. Positive effects can also be achieved with everyday activities. Medium intensity means that it is still possible to speak but no longer sing while moving. In this intensity, the organism has enough oxygen to burn glucose and fat (see exercise & energy metabolism).In addition to endurance exercise, muscle strengthening exercises should be performed at least twice a week (at least five to ten exercises, each with at least twelve to 15 repetitions per exercise). For more information, see the exercise recommendations.
  • This amount of physical activity also applies to people who have been diagnosed with a preliminary stage of diabetes (e.g. impaired glucose tolerance, metabolic syndrome).
  • Even people with type 2 diabetes is generally recommended this amount of exercise. The supervising doctor can prescribe an individual training program that is tailored to the patient's state of health and fitness.

In general, the training should start with a low intensity and duration and gradually increase over weeks. In addition, physical activity - as best it is possible depending on the state of health - should also be integrated into everyday life. Climbing stairs instead of taking a lift, running errands on foot instead of driving or taking a short walk every day are examples of easy to implement and effective measures.

Certain concomitant and secondary diseases of diabetes can make certain restrictions necessary. For example, if you have retinopathy, you should be careful with strength training (there is a risk of retinal bleeding), and those affected with symptomatic coronary artery disease should have their resilience checked in advance using ergometry. In general, the attending doctor will help to determine the right training for you.

Medication & Exercise

Diabetics who take diabetes medication or have to inject insulin can, in principle, also do any form of physical activity and sport. Caution should be exercised in high-risk sports because of the risk of hypoglycaemia in order to avoid endangering yourself and others.

Pay close attention to your blood sugar levels and adjust your medication and insulin doses accordingly to avoid hypoglycemia or hypoglycemia. The attending doctor will inform you accordingly.

During physical exertion, the muscles consume more sugar and therefore need less insulin. Therefore, there is a possibility of hypoglycaemia - especially if you inject insulin. Therefore, in consultation with your doctor, inject correspondingly less insulin beforehand, or reduce the drug dose if necessary. Or you can also eat carbohydrates beforehand. The correct adjustment of the medication or insulin dose as well as the diet should be practiced in advance with the doctor or in special training courses.

Note After prolonged physical exertion, such as a long hike, the blood sugar lowering effect lasts for hours. Therefore, checking your blood sugar before bed is important.

Therapy active - diabetes under control

Exercise is an important part of the quality-assured treatment program "Therapy active - Diabetes under control" of the social insurance. In the course of the care, the patient agrees with the doctor on individual treatment goals and measures, which are regularly checked for their effect. The doctor also discusses which exercise program is sensible and feasible for the patient. Tips and recommendations on exercise and diet for diabetes can also be found in the patient manual for the “Active Therapy” program.

Whom can I ask?

  • Medical care: Exercise is part of the basic therapy for type 2 diabetes. The attending physician advises the patient on the design of the exercise program and helps to control the effectiveness and success of the physical activities. Knowledge about physical activity is also conveyed in the important patient training courses so that those affected can exercise independently. The costs for the medical diabetes treatment and, under certain conditions, for accompanying treatment measures are covered by the social security agencies.
  • You can find healthy exercise offers at www.fitsportaustria.at.

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