Type 2 diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent within our society. This has been attributed to our more sedentary lifestyle as well as our appetite for high caloric foods. When individuals go to their physician, medication is usually the first line of defence, followed by a suggestion to “exercise and eat right”. Well how do you do that? Not many people understand the proper and safe way to exercise in general let alone to manage diabetes.
I began working with Barry, who has had diabetes for 10 years and came in seeking advice regarding exercise and diet. Like most diabetics, Barry, was given many different medications including metformin to stabilize his blood sugar. Over the years, his dose increased. Here is a look into Barry’s numbers before starting our program:
- Weight of 219lbs
- Resting blood sugar of well over 10mmol/L (normal is under 7mmol/L)
- High HbA1C levels
- Five pills of metformin per day
Following 3 months of resistance training 2x/week and testing his resting metabolic rate to determine a course of action for his diet; here are Barry’s numbers are now:
- Weight of 204lbs
- Resting blood sugar 7mmol/L,
- HbA1C levels are decreasing
- Eliminated one metformin pill a day and will continue to decrease
We can’t help to think, had his doctor referred him to a qualified fitness and health professional 10 years ago, would Barry have had to go through 10 years of medication and all the underlying issues associated with diabetes (hypertension, neuropathy, etc). The evidence and research regarding exercise and diabetes is unquestionable, however there is a right way and a wrong way. Not all fitness professionals are educated in training patients with diabetes and simply trying the latest fad diet can be detrimental for patients with type 2 diabetes. If you are a type 2 diabetic looking to improve your lifestyle, reduce your meds and manage your weight, an exercise professional with specific education in training patients with diabetes can help. Always ensure your fitness professional is updating your medical doctor or nurse practioner on your program and progress.