Physical movement improves blood sugar management in people who have sedentary jobs and in people who are overweight, obese and who have difficulty maintaining blood sugars in a healthy range.
“These updated guidelines are intended to ensure everyone continues to physically move around throughout the day—at least every 30 minutes—to improve blood glucose management,” said lead author Sheri R. Colberg-Ochs, PhD, FACSM, consultant/director of physical fitness for the American Diabetes Association. “This movement should be in addition to regular exercise, as it is highly recommended for people with diabetes to be active. Since incorporating more daily physical activity can mean different things to different people with diabetes, these guidelines offer excellent suggestions on what to do, why to do it and how to do it safely.”
This is the first time the Association has issued independent, comprehensive guidelines on physical activity and exercise for all people with diabetes, including type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes, and prediabetes. Additionally, there is emphasis on various categories of physical activity—aerobic exercise, resistance training, flexibility and balance training, and general lifestyle activity—and the benefits of each for people with diabetes. The new report is based upon an extensive review of more than 180 papers of the latest diabetes research, and includes the expertise of leaders in the field of diabetes and exercise physiology from top research institutions in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Specific recommendations are outlined for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Aerobic activity benefits patients with type 2 diabetes by improving blood sugar management, as well as encouraging weight loss and reducing cardiovascular risks. Movement that encourages flexibility and balance are helpful for people with type 2 diabetes, especially older adults. Regular exercise that incorporates aerobic and resistance training activities also offers health benefits for people with type 1 diabetes, including improvements in insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.
Additionally, activity guidelines are suggested for women with gestational diabetes and for people with prediabetes. Women who are at-risk or diagnosed with gestational diabetes are encouraged to incorporate aerobic and resistance exercise into their lives most days of the week to improve the effects of insulin and help maintain consistent blood sugar levels. People with prediabetes—a condition that is detected when blood sugar levels are above the normal range, yet not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis—are urged to combine physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes to delay or prevent a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
The statement clarifies that recommendations and precautions for physical activity and exercise will vary based on a patient’s type of diabetes, age, overall health and the presence of diabetes-related complications. Additionally, specific guidelines are outlined for monitoring blood sugar levels during activity. The statement also suggests positive behavior-change strategies that clinicians can utilize to promote physical activity programs with patients and indicates that supervised, structured exercise programs are more beneficial for people with diabetes.
The complete statement will be published online at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/39/11/2065 on October 25, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. ET.
About Diabetes Care®
Diabetes Care is a monthly journal of the American Diabetes Association to increase knowledge, stimulate research, and promote better health care for people with diabetes. To achieve these goals, the journal publishes original articles on human studies in the following categories: clinical care, education and nutrition; epidemiology, health services; and psychosocial research; emerging treatments and technologies; and pathophysiology and complications. The journal also publishes the Association’s recommendations and statements, clinically relevant review articles, editorials and commentaries. Topics covered are of interest to clinically oriented physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, psychologists, diabetes educators and other health professionals. Diabetes Care is the highest-ranked, peer-reviewed journal in the field of diabetes treatment and prevention.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).
SOURCE American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org