Exercise physiology is crucial in managing diabetes, specifically type 2 diabetes. In 2021, 1.3 million people in Australia are affected by diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterised by elevated blood glucose levels due to insufficient insulin production. Diabetes and Exercise Physiology are closely related.
It can be a powerful tool in managing and preventing diabetes, and understanding its effects on the body is essential for individuals with diabetes. Exercising safely is vital for managing diabetes. An exercise physiologist can develop a personalised program for you.
Alpha Abilities has a team of Exercise Physiologists across Victoria, Australia, ready to provide guidance and recommend the best exercises for managing diabetes.
Types of Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition with too much sugar in the blood because the body can’t convert it into energy. Insulin is needed to regulate blood sugar levels, but in diabetes, there is not enough insulin, or the body is resistant. Here are some common types of diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
It is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. People with Type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections or an insulin pump to survive. It often develops in childhood or adolescence and is not preventable.
Type 2 Diabetes
It is the most common form of diabetes, often related to lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, and obesity. In Type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use it effectively, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. It can develop at any age and is usually managed with lifestyle changes, oral medications, and, in some cases, insulin.
This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy when the body cannot produce enough insulin to meet increased needs. It typically goes away after childbirth, but women who develop gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
At Alpha Abilities, an expert exercise physiologist can suggest the best ways to manage diabetes with exercises that help control sugar levels.
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes?
Common symptoms of diabetes are:
- Being very thirsty or hungry
- Experiencing more urine than usual
- Feeling tired
- Unexplained weight loss (for type 1 diabetes) or gradual weight gain (for type 2 diabetes)
- Having cuts that heal slowly
- Itchy skin or skin infections
- Blurred vision
Role of exercise physiologist in diabetes care?
Exercise physiologists provide tailored exercise programs for individuals with diabetes. Their role encompasses several key aspects:
1 . Assessment And Evaluation
Exercise physiologists assess the individual’s fitness level, overall health, and specific needs related to diabetes management. They may perform physical assessments, measure body composition, and evaluate cardiovascular fitness to establish a baseline.
2 . Exercise Prescription
Based on their assessments, our exercise physiologists create customised exercise plans that consider the individual’s fitness goals, limitations, and coexisting health conditions. For people with diabetes, these plans are designed to help manage blood sugar levels effectively.
3. Blood Sugar Management
Exercise physiologists educate individuals with diabetes on the impact of physical activity on blood glucose levels. They teach strategies to monitor blood sugar before, during, and after exercise, helping to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) during workouts.
4 . Cardiovascular Health
Regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, which is especially important for individuals with diabetes, as they are at a higher risk of heart-related complications. Our Exercise physiologists design programs that target cardiovascular fitness and help reduce this risk.
5 . Strength Training
Building and maintaining muscle mass can improve insulin sensitivity. Exercise physiologists incorporate strength training exercises into the exercise regimen to help manage diabetes effectively.
6 . Nutrition Guidance
While physiologists primarily focus on exercise, they often work with dietitians or nutritionists to ensure a comprehensive approach to diabetes management. They may provide general nutritional advice and emphasise the importance of a balanced diet.
Our NDIS Exercise Physiologists are highly trained in prescribing personalised exercise programs for people with diabetes, helping them achieve their individual goals.
Other Services Provided By Alpha Abilities.
Exercise physiology is beneficial for everyone. Customised programs are available for specific needs such as injury prevention, wellness maintenance, medical condition management, and injury rehabilitation. Our services include:
- Pain Reduction
- Muscle Development
- Autism Management
- Water Therapy
- Injury Prevention
- Mental Health Treatment
- Improve Functionality
- Aged Care
- Children’s Wellbeing