By Justin Gittings PT, DPT, SFMA Lvl1

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which leads to an impaired ability to metabolize (use or store) glucose. Insulin is a hormone released by the body to deal with glucose.  Type 1 diabetics are unable to produce sufficient amounts of insulin, leaving them insulin dependent. Type 2 diabetics can produce insulin, but for a variety of reasons, their bodies are unable to use it. In both types of diabetes, the glucose management and use is impaired. Without intervention, the buildup of unused glucose in the bloodstream will cause damage to blood vessels and organs. 

Exercise helps?

Fortunately, exercise is very effective in controlling blood glucose levels. Cardiovascular and strength training, as well as yoga and pilates, are proven to increase insulin sensitivity and improve glucose metabolism. (In other words, exercise helps your body become more efficient with figuring out when it needs to spring into action and more effective in dealing with glucose).  

In order to reap the benefits exercise has to offer, The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) gives the following recommendations:

  • General Activity Level: 30- 60 minutes of moderate activity (resistance, cardiovascular, yoga, pilates, etc.) 3- 5 days per week.

    • Ex. walking fast enough so it’s difficult to carry a conversation.   

  • Cardiovascular Training specifics: 20-60 minutes of activity performed at a comfortable intensity. Consider a treadmill, elliptical, hiking, cycling, rowing, kayaking etc

    • Ex. not so fast you cant hold a conversation.

  • Resistance Training specifics: The ACSM recommends performing 2- 3 sets of 8- 12 reps at a moderate difficulty, working major muscle groups 2- 4 times per week.

    • Ex. A weight heavy enough that you can perform 10 repitions properly and safely, but would barely be able to finish 15 

  • Nutrition: Some experts recommend consuming a carbohydrate heavy snack 30- 40 minutes prior to exercising and keeping a sports drink on hand during the workout. 

As always – talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program

How we can help:

  • Fitness evaluation
    • We offer fitness evaluations to help determine your baseline, injury risk, and best plan of action.
  • Coordination with the personal training staff at our locations
    • We work directly with the strength training staff to ensure your path to health and wellness is worry-free, individualized, and effective

Contact us today at 443-213-0395 or info@peakephysicaltherapy.com to get started!