Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disease where insulin in effective, resulting in elevated fasting blood glucose levels. There are two types of diabetes; type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin due to the immune system destroying insulin producing cells. This type of diabetes requires regular insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas can produce insulin, however it is ineffective. In type 2 diabetes, you may not need insulin injections, but may require assistive medication to assist regulation of your blood glucose levels.
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Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can result in a build up of blood glucose levels if not managed correctly, which can cause damage to many body organs including kidneys, eyes and heart.

Of all diabetics, between 85-90% have type 2. This results from many factors, most commonly including obesity, insufficient activity and poor diet, which can be referred to as lifestyle factors.

How can exercise help?

Exercise can help people with diabetes by:

  • Increasing glucose uptake into muscles to assist regulation of blood glucose both during and hours post exercise completion
  • Weight management
  • Reduction of associated risk factors (i.e. kidney, eye or heart issues)
  • In type 2 diabetics, exercise can even help to reduce medication use, and result in lifestyle management being the only form of treatment.

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