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Diabetes Diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic metabolic disease in which the body does not respond properly to insulin and the production of insulin by the pancreas is impaired. This can lead to increased blood glucose (sugar) levels. Poorly controlled blood glucose leads to earlier onset of other serious effects of T2DM such as heart, kidney and eye diseases and an increased risk of death.

Exercise has a large part to play in preventing and managing T2DM. Benefits of regular exercise may include:

  • Improvements in blood glucose control which often means people can reduce their T2DM medications
  • Reduction of body fat
  • Prevention of T2DM. If you are inactive, have had gestational diabetes or a family history of T2DM you are at a higher risk of developing T2DM.

Studies show that exercise can help prevent T2DM, as well as improve control of blood glucose, decrease the proportion of body fat, decrease the risk of heart disease, and increase heart and lung fitness in people with T2DM (2, 3). People with poor fitness have an increased risk of developing T2DM. Increasing physical activity can reduce the incidence of T2DM by almost 60% in people at risk (4). People who already have T2DM can increase their fitness levels (and improve their symptoms) by about 12% through exercise training (5). Poorly controlled blood glucose leads to earlier onset of other serious effects of T2DM, such as heart, kidney and eye diseases, and an increased risk of death. Better blood glucose control often means people can reduce their T2DM medications (6). As people with diabetes age, the benefit of maintaining muscle mass through exercise is also likely to improve physical function and independence (7).

Exercise Physiologist's can help you safely start an exercise program if you are suffering from diabetes related complications or want to decrease your risk of becoming a diabetic.