The Importance of Exercise for Type 2 Diabetics

You’d have to be living under a rock since the 1950s or so to not have heard that physical activity and exercise are beneficial to every individual’s health and longevity. Some of the benefits we’re all familiar with include

  • increased energy
  • enhanced mood
  • improved cardiovascular health
  • keeping off unwanted extra pounds
  • maintaining strong muscles and bones
  • minimizing the risk of falling

These benefits all ring true for people with diabetes just as much as they do for the general population. But for the diabetic, there’s a huge added benefit: exercise presents an additional way to keep blood sugar levels and A1C in the healthy range.

What the experts recommend

About a year ago, The American Diabetes Association put forth exercise guidelines specifically for diabetics. For people with type 2 diabetes, the ADA has 3 specific recommendations:

  1. exercise every day
  2. engage in aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise as well as resistance (strength) training
  3. diabetic children should meet the same exercise goals as non-diabetic kids their age

Furthermore, they recommend that anyone who’s at a high risk of becoming diabetic should lose 5%-7% of their body weight through changes in diet and activity. Those at-risk people include anyone with a family history of diabetes, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, people over 50, and those with prediabetes.

All of us at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland think it’s important to pass these guidelines along to our patients with diabetes. The more you follow these guidelines, the more your diabetes will be in control, and the less likely you’ll be facing problems with your feet like numbness, nerve damage, blood vessel disease, and foot wounds that don’t heal.

If you have diabetes, stick to an exercise routine and always keep proper diabetic foot care in the forefront of your mind. Contact us at our modern podiatry office near Cleveland. Our expert podiatrists, Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann, are here to answer your questions about the diabetic foot and to help you keep them in tip-top shape. Our number in Solon, Ohio is (440) 903-1041, or you can contact us online.