How Exercise Can Help People with Diabetes
- Blood sugar management: Regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When the body becomes less sensitive to insulin, blood sugar levels can rise, leading to diabetes. Exercise can help increase insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to better manage blood sugar levels.
- Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight is important for people with diabetes. Exercise can help with weight management by burning calories and building muscle mass. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage.
- Cardiovascular health: People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Exercise can help reduce this risk by improving cardiovascular health. Regular exercise can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve circulation, all of which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Using an Exercise Physiologist to Help Manage DiabetesAn exercise physiologist is a healthcare professional who specialises in the study of how the body responds to exercise. They can work with people with diabetes to develop personalised exercise plans that are tailored to their individual needs and goals. An exercise physiologist can help people with diabetes by:
- Assessing fitness levels: An exercise physiologist can assess an individual’s fitness levels and develop a personalised exercise plan that takes into account their current fitness levels, medical history, and any complications associated with diabetes.
- Providing guidance and support: An exercise physiologist can provide guidance and support throughout the exercise program. They can help people with diabetes stay motivated and on track with their exercise goals.
- Monitoring progress: An exercise physiologist can monitor progress and make adjustments to the exercise plan as needed. This can help ensure that the exercise plan is effective and safe for the individual with diabetes.
How to get started with exerciseStarting an exercise routine can be daunting, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated due to your diabetes. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Talk to your healthcare provider: Before starting any exercise routine, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine what type of exercise is safe and appropriate for you, and can offer guidance on how to manage your diabetes during exercise.
- Start small: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with small, manageable goals. Even a short walk around the block can be a good place to start. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercise routine over time.
- Find an exercise buddy: Having a friend or family member to exercise with can be a great source of motivation and accountability. You can also join a diabetes support group or exercise class to meet others who are also managing diabetes through exercise.
- Hire an exercise physiologist: An exercise physiologist can help you develop a safe and effective exercise plan that’s tailored to your individual needs and goals. They can also provide guidance and support to help you stay motivated and on track.
- Celebrate your successes: Don’t forget to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Every step in the right direction is a victory, and acknowledging your progress can help keep you motivated and on track.
- Colberg, S. R., Sigal, R. J., Yardley, J. E., Riddell, M. C., Dunstan, D. W., Dempsey, P. C., … & Tate, D. F. (2016). Physical activity/exercise and diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 39(11), 2065-2079.
- Chudyk, A., Petrella, R. J., & Maly, M. R. (2011). Effects of exercise on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care, 34(5), 1228-1237.
- American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
What is osteoarthritis?Osteoarthritis is a common chronic disorder of the joints and mainly affects older adults. In healthy joints, cartilage covers the surface of the joint and helps to absorb shock and allows for smooth movement. With osteoarthritis, there is degeneration of the cartilage leading to stiffness, pain, and limited mobility. The most common joints affected by arthritis are the hips, knees, big toes, spine and hands. Interestingly there is a poor correlation between the severity of the condition based on imaging compared with people’s perceived pain levels. Exercise Physiologist’s can help individuals with osteoarthritis keep active and manage their symptoms. In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of exercise physiology for osteoarthritis and how it can help you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
How can exercise physiology help with OA symptoms?
Exercise physiology is the scientific study of the physiological and metabolic responses to physical activity. In the context of osteoarthritis, exercise physiology focuses on developing exercise programs that are safe and effective for individuals with joint pain and limited mobility. The goal of exercise physiology for osteoarthritis is to improve strength, joint function, reduce pain, and enhance overall physical fitness.
Exercise physiology for osteoarthritis is a holistic approach that takes into account an individual’s unique needs and limitations. The exercise program may include a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises, tailored to each person’s specific needs. Some of the benefits of exercise physiology for osteoarthritis:
- Reduced Joint Pain: Exercise can help reduce joint pain by improving joint mobility, reducing inflammation, and strengthening the muscles around the joint.
- Improved Joint Function: Exercise can improve joint function by increasing range of motion, reducing stiffness, and improving balance and coordination.
- Increased Muscle Strength: Exercise can help increase muscle strength, which can help support the joints and improve overall physical function.
- Weight Management: Exercise can help with weight management, which can reduce the stress on the joints and improve overall health.
- Improved Mental Health: Exercise can have a positive impact on mental health, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, which are common in individuals with osteoarthritis.
Exercise physiology for osteoarthritis is a safe and effective way to manage joint pain and maintain an active lifestyle. However, it is important to consult with a qualified exercise physiologist before starting an exercise program. They can help develop an exercise plan that is tailored to your individual needs and limitations and ensure that you exercise safely and effectively.
Exercise physiology for osteoarthritis can help individuals manage joint pain, improve joint function, increase muscle strength, and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. With the help of a qualified exercise physiologist, individuals with osteoarthritis can develop a safe and effective exercise program that is tailored to their unique needs and limitations. Exercise may be challenging at first, but with perseverance, individuals with osteoarthritis can experience the benefits of exercise and improve their overall quality of life.References
- Fransen, M., McConnell, S., Harmer, A. R., Van der Esch, M., Simic, M., & Bennell, K. L. (2015). Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee: a Cochrane systematic review. British journal of sports medicine, 49(24), 1554-1557
- Brosseau, L., Taki, J., Desjardins, B., Thevenot, O., Fransen, M., Wells, G. A., … & Toupin-April, K. (2015). The Ottawa panel clinical practice guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis: Part one: Introduction, and mind-body exercise programs. Clinical rehabilitation, 29(11), 1061-1075.
- Uthman, O. A., van der Windt, D. A., Jordan, J. L., Dziedzic, K. S., Healey, E. L., & Peat, G. M. (2014). Exercise for lower limb osteoarthritis: systematic review incorporating trial sequential analysis and network meta-analysis. Bmj, 348, f5555.
- Porcheret, M., Jordan, K., Jinks, C., Croft, P., & Bedson, J. (2010). Primary care treatment of knee pain—a survey in older adults. Rheumatology, 49(11), 2214-2220.
Maximising the Benefits of Exercise for People with Multiple Sclerosis in North SydneyExercise is an essential component of managing multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. MS can cause physical and cognitive decline, increased falls risk, and other symptoms that can negatively impact a person’s quality of life, such as:
- Cognitive decline (concentration, memory, speech etc.)
- Physical decline: decreased strength and cardiovascular fitness
- Increased falls risk
- Temperature sensitivity
Benefits of Exercise for People with MSExercise and physical activity have been shown to improve the symptoms associated with MS. Here are some of the ways exercise can help:
- Improved upper and lower body strength and endurance: Performed correctly, resistance training exercise can help to maintain and improve function alongside appropriate pacing strategies. Your Exercise Physiologist can assist you to suitably structure your exercise intensity (how hard), frequency (how often), timing (how long), and type (what kind).
- Cardiovascular fitness: Cardiovascular exercise and implementation of pacing strategies can assist with symptoms of fatigue and lethargy. Your body responds to the cardiovascular stimulus by creating adaptations that, over time make the exercise easier to complete. This increase in fitness also helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases and other co-morbidities, as well as allow you to achieve more throughout the day.
- Balance: 50-60% of people living with MS will have one or more falls within the year, with balance impairing 75% of these individuals. Fear of falling and potentially hurting oneself can restrict participation in many activities- both social and personal. Including balance exercises into your routine can help to prevent falls and subsequent injuries.
What Type of Exercise is Recommended?It’s always best to start small and find a regular exercise routine that is sustainable for life. Slowly build up to the recommendations at a pace that does not leave you too fatigued to complete your activities of daily living. Here are some exercise recommendations:
- 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (2 days per week)
- Strength training for major muscle groups (2 days per week)
- Include balance and mobility exercises most days of the week.
Who Can Help Me?Finding the right support is important if you feel like exercise is too challenging or daunting. An Accredited Exercise Physiologist will be able to get you exercising and moving at a safe and appropriate level. They will also educate and guide you on independent management of your condition, so that you can become empowered and self-reliant when the time is right. If you’re in North Sydney, visit us today or ask your GP about Exercise Physiology in your Multiple Sclerosis management plan to start maximising the benefits of exercise for your MS management plan. Resources: