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Q.

I have Type II diabetes. What is the best form of exercise for my condition?

I take Metformin twice a day and insulin in the evening. I would like a recommendation on a good exercise program, especially since I have a busy and sometimes inconsistant schedule.

Related Topics: Diabetes, Insulin, Exercise
 
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Primary Care
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The easy answer would be ANY EXERCISE.  Find an activity that you like. It can be as simple as walking (aerobic) or even taking up a sport, like tennis. The best exercise program is really one that you will do on a regular, consistent basis, at least three or more times per week. Find a partner - it is easier to exercise with a friend.

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Answers From Experts & Organizations (3)

Internal Medicine
WebMD
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A.

Having type 2 diabetes means you need to make the time. Having a busy schedule is the norm for everyone. <?xml:namespace prefix = o /><o:p></o:p>

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The insulin you take daily makes up for the little insulin that you produce. Metformin helps sensitizes your body and muscles to insulin. <o:p></o:p>

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In people with diabetes, the only way to break and improve insulin resistance, and reduce your risk of heart disease and other complications, is by using muscles. Most any type of regularly performed physical activity will do. Find something you like , it helps increase the chance that you will stick to it.  A buddy system for exercise also helps make you more accountable and less likely to miss out on the social, mental, and physical benefits of exercise. <o:p></o:p>

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A combination of aerobic type exercise and weights, targeting core muscles, is something to aim for. Find an endocrinologist that is passionate about working with people that have type 2 diabetes. <o:p></o:p>

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Fitness
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The Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days per week. For individuals with diabetes, it’s recommended that there should not be more than two consecutive days without aerobic physical activity, because the benefit of increased insulin sensitivity gained from exercise generally doesn’t last longer than 48-72 hours.

Moreover, high-intensity physical activity will tend to enhance insulin sensitivity more than low-intensity physical activity. Also, a greater duration spent on exercise appears to more effective than a lesser duration. With both intensity and duration, however, the benefits appear to be a result of more energy being expended.

Exercise can significantly lower A1C levels and can even help glycemic control during times when not exercising. Both resistance training and aerobic exercise have helpful effects on insulin and can help with diabetes management.

Do not exercise if your blood sugar is too low and stop exercise if you feel faint, have chest tightness, or are extremely short of breath. 

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Cardiology
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I generally recommend a combination of both aerobic exercise and some resistance exercise in most of my patients.  And the good news is that most people can do low-impact exercise (like walking) and still see a benefit.  You should talk to your doctor about your own specific exercise prescription.  And while you're asking, see if your doctor is exercising too!

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Walking is the best exercise for everything!  If you don't seem to have time to go and walk, park as far from the door at work, grocery store, drug store, anywhere you go as possible.  Then walk briskly while going in and out, and if possible while you are shopping.  This will help some, and hopefully make you want to walk more, and get into a routine!  You can always find 30 min 3 times a week to walk!

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