HEALTH & NUTRITION SPECIALISTS
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Axis recommends exercise that is done on a regular basis. 3 times a week is optimal for strength combined with cardiovascular exercise. You do not need to exercise every day, we cannot stress this enough. Exercise does many great things like boosting the immune system and helping protect against conditions like heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, cancer. Another reason for this recommendation is that working muscles use more glucose than those that are resting. In other words muscle movement leads to greater sugar uptake by muscle cells and lower blood sugar levels. Other benefits of exercise include a healthier heart, better weight control and stress management.
Studies show that strength training is as good as aerobic exercise at boosting how well your body uses insulin. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 2 diabetes start a strength training program to help with blood sugar control.
However with type1 ensure you have stable blood sugar levels before hitting the gym, i.e. if your blood glucose level is > 250mg/dl or have high levels of ketones in your urine. High urinary ketones means that your insulin is too low and your body is breaking down fats for fuel. Don't exercise until you've got your glucose down near normal and your ketones down to just traces. Don't do exercise with either type of diabetes if your blood glucose is greater than 300mg/dl.
If just starting or returning to exercise after time off begin by slowly building up to 30-45 minutes per exercise session. Always make sure you warm up first. Doing 1-2 sets per exercise is a good starting point. Repetitions can be established in the same way as for an individual without diabetes. Base your goals on your exercise tolerance. Use lower repetitions/higher resistance for strength and higher repetitions/lower resistance for endurance. Axis specialises in brief but intense strength training. We feel its the best and most efficient way of stimulating muscle tissue, promoting greater results in a shorter time. However there are considerations needed to lower the risks involved with exercise and diabetes.
In cases where you have cardiovascular problems and high Bp, consult your doc before progressing. Use lighter weights, this wont increase Bp as much as the higher loads. It is also important to lower the risk of developing low blood glucose levels during exercise. Having a light meal just before you exercise, checking your blood glucose before and during exercising, and knowing the warning signs of a hypo will help exercise tolerance. Know when to stop and seek emergency care is a point that cannot be overstated.