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Manage Diabetes Through Exercise Without Medication


Manage Diabetes Through Exercise Without Medication

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Manage Diabetes Through Exercise Without Medication

We understand the significance of regular exercise for overall well-being, offering numerous physical and mental health advantages. However, how does having diabetes affect the type and structure of exercise routines you should follow?

To gain insights into exercising with diabetes, we consulted Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP, the medical director at the Pritikin Longevity Center.

What are the Advantages of Exercise for Individuals with Diabetes?

Exercise plays a crucial role in managing diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity, improving blood sugar control, building muscle, reducing body fat, strengthening bones and muscles, enhancing balance and flexibility, lowering triglycerides and blood pressure, and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular complications like heart attacks, strokes, and dementia, as stated by Dr. Fruge.

How Can Exercise Help in Controlling Diabetes?

Experts often refer to the FITT principle (Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type) while designing workout programs. Frequency emphasizes consistency in your routine, targeting at least 15 minutes of exercise daily, with post-meal walks recommended by Dr. Fruge. She advocates for dual exercise sessions, morning and evening, for optimal health benefits.

Dr. Fruge suggests beginning with low intensity and gradually increasing it for better control over diabetes through exercise.

Which Exercises are Ideal for Diabetes?

Dr. Fruge recommends a balanced workout regimen encompassing muscle-building and cardio/aerobic activities. Individuals can engage in various exercises as long as their diabetes is well-managed without major complications.

Exercise Caution and Nutritional Considerations

For individuals with diabetes facing uncontrolled blood sugar levels or additional health issues, Dr. Fruge advises against certain high-intensity or strain-inducing exercises. Those with retinopathy should be cautious with specific yoga poses and strength training exercises.

Regarding nutrition, Dr. Fruge stresses the importance of balanced pre-workout meals, especially for type 1 diabetics, suggesting a combination of carbohydrates and fiber-rich foods to stabilize blood sugar levels.

For those with type 2 diabetes, Dr. Fruge suggests incorporating low-starch vegetables as a pre-workout snack and adjustments based on workout intensity or hypoglycemic medication use.

Consult your healthcare provider for personalized exercise recommendations when starting a fitness routine with diabetes. While it may seem daunting initially, the benefits of exercising with diabetes can be incredibly transformative for both the body and mind.

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