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What is the best exercise for people living with diabetes?

11 June 2022

Key points:

  • It is recommended to perform at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week.
  • Modifying the life routine in patients with diabetes is essential for its control.
  • The dose of insulin or other drugs should be adjusted according to the type and amount of exercise to be performed.

Diabetes is a disease that affects the functioning of glucose in the body, it can be caused by some metabolic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, or high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, affecting insulin function, which is responsible for supplying glucose in the body.

Due to this insulin deficiency, glucose increases in the body, says Dr. José María Arteaga, a specialist in sports medicine at the ABC Medical Center, translating into several deficiencies at the systemic level that can increase the risk of infections, as well as the risk of cardiovascular diseases, among others.

Dr. Arteaga says that, within the international recommendations for the treatment of diabetes, lifestyle should always be modified after its detection, this includes having a healthy diet and an exercise routine due to the beneficial impact they have on the care and improvement of symptoms.

Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is recommended for people living with diabetes, says Dr. Arteaga, doing it as many days a week as possible and accumulating a total of 150 minutes or more of weekly exercise.

Its intensity should be moderate and vigorous, depending on the capabilities of each person, being able to choose whether it is by cycling, walking, running, swimming, or any other cardiovascular exercise.

The reason why a person with diabetes, or anyone else, should exercise is that it helps reduce body fat percentage while increasing the muscle’s quantity and quality.

However, there are a few limitations for patients with diabetes who try to exercise, including the dose of insulin or some drugs, which must be adjusted depending on the type and amount of exercise to be performed, all under the direction of the doctor or treating physician.

In case you have questions about diabetes limitations in your training, Dr. Arteaga recommends scheduling a consultation in sports medicine to solve all your doubts.

This content is for informational purposes and does not replace any consultation with the specialist. At the ABC Medical Center’s Nutrition and Obesity Center, we can provide you with specialized care 


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