Prevent and manage prediabetes through exercise
Approximately 10% of the American population has type II diabetes — and 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes. Fortunately, diabetes can be prevented and managed by living a healthy lifestyle of proper eating and exercising.
Nov 1, 2022 | Michele Tenney, CPT
Approximately 10% of the American population has type II diabetes — and 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes. These staggering numbers reveal a common issue among the population: lack of sufficient exercise and a poor diet. Fortunately, diabetes can be prevented and managed by living a healthy lifestyle of proper eating and exercising.
Exercise is strongly recommended for people diagnosed with type II diabetes or prediabetes, and for good reason. Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels and ward off symptoms that are affecting people with type II diabetes. Too much rest and lack of movement contributes to higher blood sugar levels, as glucose is not being used up by the body. So, living a sedentary life is not beneficial to anyone, least of all people with prediabetes or type II diabetes. Additionally, exercise reduces stress and encourages weight loss and better cardiovascular fitness.
In addition to those benefits, exercise also helps with mental health and boosts not only our mood, but also our immune system, helping ward off other diseases such as stroke, cancer or heart disease. Exercise also helps aid in a better night’s sleep which also contributes to overall better health as well.
After a diagnosis, it is important to go slow and not jump into strenuous exercise. A quick 30-minute workout is ideal, and if you can get through it without a break; great, but take breaks if you need it. Cleaning and gardening can also count as exercise, but being fully committed to a 30-minute workout every day should be the goal. If you need help with motivation, find a personal trainer to help jumpstart a routine for you. Knowing your weakness and when to ask for help is a strength.
Once you have adopted a good routine and are committed to it, the American College of Sports Medicine recently released new recommendations for more strenuous workouts four to five times per week. However, it is important to discuss these options with your doctor and physical therapist if you are recovering from any injuries, as there are modifications that can be made to your workout routine to prevent further injuries.
The battlefield is in your mind: change the way you think, use self-affirmations, remember how you feel once you’re finished exercising and remember that you are worth every bit of effort you put into yourself. Your body will thank you for it. Repetition becomes a habit and habits become lifestyles, which means there is hope for those who want to prevent and manage prediabetes and type II diabetes. Should you get sidetracked or out of your routine for a period of time, don’t throw in the towel; begin again. Life has detours, and it’s important to learn how to maneuver them.
Michele Tenney, CPT, is a personal trainer based in Hamden who enjoys working with all populations. As a trainer, Michele takes care to talk about the importance of nutrition in achieving goals.