Diabetes Mellitus is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. It is one of the most common metabolic conditions around the world. If the findings of a latest study are to be believed patients with type-2 diabetes should be prescribed physical activity,¬†which is very crucial to control blood sugar and improve heart health. The paper has been published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the ESC.
Speaking about the study, lead author Hareld Kemps said that sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets are the most important drivers of the increasing number of patients with type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks. The cardiologist at Maxima Medical Centre, Veldhoven, the Netherlands added, “Diabetes doubles the risk of mortality but the fitter patients become, the more that risk declines. Unfortunately, the majority of patients do not engage in exercise programmes.”
One in 11 adults worldwide has diabetes, of which 90 percent is type-2 diabetes. The findings of the study revealed that nearly all patients with type-2 diabetes have a tendency to develop cardiovascular complications, which are the leading causes of death in this group. The researchers said that it is important to motivate diabetics to incorporate physical activity and exercise programs in their daily routine. It is also essential to ensure that you do not over-exert yourself and set achievable and measurable goals.
Patients should see their doctor for a personalised plan, and those with health insurance should ask if exercise programmes are covered, said Dr Kemps. “There are also steps patients can take without needing to see a doctor first, such as interrupting sitting time and doing moderate exercise like walking and cycling.”
Practical and specific goals tend to be motivational, said Dr Kemps. “For an elderly person this could be climbing the stairs in their home or walking to the supermarket – achievements that will really improve their quality of life. Being able to use less medication because of better glycaemic control is also an incentive.”
Both cardiorespiratory fitness and glycaemic control improve with exercise training and the changes are measurable too, noted the study. Exercise also helps to lower blood pressure and harmful blood lipids.
Dr Kemps further said, “I can’t stress enough how effective even small increases in activity can benefit patients with type 2 diabetes and heart problems. Interrupting sitting with brief bouts of walking improves glucose control, while two hours of brisk walking per week reduces the risk of further heart problems.”¬†
Diabetes management is not a cakewalk. One needs to be very careful of what they include in their plate. Refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks and fruit drinks can shoot up your blood sugar levels. Diabetics should include more fibre-rich foods in their diet. Fibre takes long to breakdown and digest, which ensures slow release of sugars in the bloodstream. Here are some fibre-rich fruits and vegetables you can add to your diet.
Include these foods in your diet and see the results yourself.
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