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Diabetes and Exercise

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Diabetes and the importance of exercise for prevention and management

Did you know?

280 Australians develop diabetes every day.
Over 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year.
Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia.
Over 1.2 million Australians currently have diagnosed diabetes.
The Central Coast Community Health Survey 2014 estimated that of Central Coast adults aged 18 years and over 10% had been told by a doctor or hospital they had diabetes and of these, 75% have type 2 diabetes.

These statistics are forever rising and our Exercise Physiologist, Leigh-Anne McBride shares insights on how exercise can be a powerful tool for prevention and management of diabetes and has designed a program to specifically cater to diabetes sufferers.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to automatically regulate the blood glucose levels which means that the levels of sugar in the blood are too high.

With TYPE 1 Diabetes the pancreas cannot make insulin because the cells that produce it have been destroyed. With TYPE 2 Diabetes the pancreas does make insulin but the insulin does not work so well so it needs to produce more.

Why exercise is important for prevention and management:

There is compelling evidence that Type 2 Diabetes is more likely to develop in individuals who are sedentary.

Exercise is a cornerstone treatment of diabetes alongside diet and medication. The goal for treatment of diabetes is blood glucose control. Exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetic complications such as cardiovascular disease; peripheral artery disease; neuropathy and retinopathy.

Exercise is effective in blood glucose control because it enhances the effectiveness of the insulin which means that more glucose then gets transported to the cells and less is left in the blood.
A measure of long term blood glucose control is the HbA1C or A1C, studies have found that a combination of aerobic and resistance training over a 26 week period reduced the A1C levels by 0.6%. This may not sound like much but a 1% decrease in A1C can reduce risk of heart disease by 15-20% and vascular complications by 37%.

Based on the evidence it is recommended that patients with type 2 Diabetes accumulate a minimum of 210 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 125 minutes vigorous exercise per week with no more than 2 consecutive days without training.

It is also recommended that due to the high rate of comorbid conditions associated with Diabetes that patients should be supervised by appropriately qualified professionals to prescribe and deliver suitable exercises.


Thanks to our Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Coast Sport team member Leigh-Anne McBrideExercise physiologist McBride for this blog.

To book in with Leigh-Anne for assistance with diabetes management and exercise therapy, call us on 4356 2588 or use the book online button below!


Book an appointment online