Study Reveals Ideal Amount of Exercise for Diabetics

People who have type 2 diabetes should exercise and monitor their diet to stay healthy, but a new study is actually pinpointing the ideal amount of time a diabetic should exercise each week.

According to Old Dominion University professor Sheri Colberg-Ochs, type 2 diabetics should get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week.

“There is probably not a better medicine out there for people with diabetes than exercise,” said Colberg-Ochs, an ODU exercise science professor.

Colberg-Ochs chaired a committee that presented a written statement, or “position paper,” for the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association.

The current federal guidelines for all adults is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise on a weekly basis. Basing their research on previous diabetes and exercise research, Colberg-Ochs and her colleagues came to the conclusion that this holds true for diabetics as well.

One bit of special advice they give to diabetics is to not let more than two days lapse between exercise outings, since consistent activity helps keep blood glucose levels from rising.

For those who do not have type 2 diabetes, exercise and modest weight loss can decrease a high risk person’s chances of developing diabetes by as much as 58 percent.

Maybe the most intriguing bit of advice that came from the study’s author is that lifestyle changes should be the first line of defense against diabetes… even before taking medications.

The main reason for this is that many diabetics can actually avoid medications altogether if they get active and change their dietary habits.

If you aren’t the easiest person to motivate, it only takes a few small changes to see significant changes in your life. According to the research, even 10-minute episodes of exercise can count to the recommended 150 minutes.

“Weeding, washing your dishes counts, and is very important in people with diabetes,” said Colberg-Ochs. “People think of it as they join the gym or they don’t do anything. There are a lot of things in between.”

(via: L.A. Times)

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