The Effects of Exercise on Type-2 Diabetes

The fact that exercise does play a role in treat and sometimes-reversing chronic diseases that left untreated often lead to death, is not lost on many people.  Study after study has shown that regular exercise helps to lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and improve cardio vascular health.  One such disease that benefits from regular exercise is Type-2 Diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition requiring management throughout the lifespan once diagnosed.  The AMA has always advocated as a first line treatment, changes to diet and exercise.  A third of doctors, however, actually encourage their patients to adopt an exercise routine along with healthier eating. They are more likely to write a script and send the patient on their merry way.  A majority of the patients told to make changes to their diet and increase their physical activity do not follow the medical advice of their doctors. They opt to take a daily pill and test their blood sugar regularly.

Diabetes results when the cells can no longer absorb insulin, resulting in insulin resistance.  Some prescription drugs are designed to change the chemical makeup of the cells and allow them to absorb insulin again. But these prescriptions drugs come with a laundry list of warnings.  Exercise can change insulin sensitivity for the better, helping it to be better absorbed without the need for a pill.  Just thirty minutes of aerobic exercise 3-4 times week can reverse insulin resistance.

Understanding that few employ an exercise regime to help control their diabetes, a recent study proposes that doctors write a prescription for regular exercise that includes the type of exercise, the duration, frequency, and intensity, rather merely suggesting they get more exercise.   The idea is by making it a prescribed treatment; it will help those treat their diabetes with more than just a change in diet and pill. Some people may be more inclined to follow an order if it comes in the form of a prescription.  It’s hard to say how many doctors will jump on board with this proposal, but it still warrants consideration even if your doctor doesn’t suggest it.

The guidelines set forth by the study suggest people spend 150 minutes of moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise a week, with resistance training another 2-3 a week. The goal is to improve one’s quality of life, which studies have shown physical activity does.

Beachbody has a program called Project: You! Type-2. Trainer Kathy Smith collaborated with Beachbody and the American Diabetes Association to develop a comprehensive program aimed at people diagnosed with pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes. The program includes 8 moderately intense workouts with 2 audio walking programs, along with meal planning cards and a cook book. It helps those wishing to treat their Diabetes more holistically to do so.

If you would like more information on Project:You! Type-2 or Shakeology, email me at or leave a comment below.