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How Does Exercise Help Type 2 Diabetes?


What is Type 2 Diabetes?


Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition which is characterised by elevated fasting blood glucose levels. In individuals with type 2 diabetes the body is resistance to insulin, resulting in glucose staying in the blood. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed if HbA1c levels are greater than 6.5% or fasting blood glucose is greater than 7.0mmol/L. Type 2 diabetes can be managed with diet, exercise and/or medication.


Benefits of Exercise


Exercise results in decreased blood glucose levels as glucose is drawn from the bloodstream and used as energy by the contracting muscles. Exercise also increases your sensitivity to insulin. Overall, exercise can help to delay the onset and progression of diabetes and can often result in reduced reliance on diabetes medications.


In addition to diabetes related benefits exercise has a range of other health benefits including lowered blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, decreased risk of heart diseases and improved mood.


Exercise Recommendations


Both aerobic and resistance (strength) training is recommended for individuals with Type 2 diabetes. The table below outlines the recommendations.

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