July 12 to 18 is National Diabetes Week. and Diabetes Victoria is raising awareness with its 80 Reasons to Celebrate campaign. The campaign shares real-life stories, like that of Anna Moresby, who has been living with diabetes for 80 years despite being told she wouldn’t survive to 30.
Anna is just one of around 1.7 million Australians are affected by type 2 diabetes, the risk of which increases with age. While family history contributes, type 2 diabetes is largely associated with lifestyle. Two contributing factors are a high body mass index and high blood pressure. Diabetes can result in other health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, nerve damage and slow healing, which in some cases can lead to amputation.
Preventing diabetes through exercise
The good news is that there is something that we can all do to help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. That silver bullet is exercise! Exercise:
- helps insulin work better
- helps you maintain a healthy weight
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces your risk of heart disease
- helps reduces stress
You don’t need to start running marathons or become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger to gain the benefits. Moderate, daily exercise – like a 30 minute walk – works, and it’s ok to start small and build up. A program like Strength for Life can also help you start and stick to an exercise routine.
Here are some other tips to help you make the most of an exercise routine:
- Wear comfortable and well-fitting shoes with grip. This helps you avoid slips and falls and protects your feet from ulcers or lesions.
- Check your feet before and after exercise to ensure you don’t have ulcers – which may be slow to heal and lead to other problems.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- Eat something before and after exercise – discuss the best possible option with your doctor or dietitian.
- Monitor your blood glucose levels before and after exercise to assess your extra food requirements. If you are starting an exercise program, you may need to test your blood glucose during exercise.
- If you have high blood glucose levels, it is best to avoid exercise until your blood glucose has settled.
Strength for Life Instructors have had specific training to work with participants who live with diabetes, as well as many other chronic conditions.
Why not get in touch so we can find a Strength for Life option that’s right for you.