November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes awareness month should really be called exercise awareness month. Of all the health risks associated with an inactive lifestyle and unhealthy diet, Type II diabetes is one of the most common and debilitating. While Type I diabetes tends to affect younger people and is thought to be caused by an immune reaction, Type II diabetes can develop in anyone and is directly linked to living an unhealthy lifestyle. At Vertex Fitness, we can help you raise your activity levels and develop strength to help knock out one of the major risk factors for diabetes. We’ve talked before about how you can manage your risk levels for certain cancers and reduce your chances of getting osteoporosis using strength training, now let’s look at how raising your diabetes awareness can help you avoid this debilitating disease.

Type II Diabetes Risk Factors

According to the CDC, you’re at risk for developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk)

The Exercise and Diabetes Connection

For folks already living with diabetes, exercise is a major component of their treatment plan. Folks with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood for one of two reasons: either their body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process the sugar in their blood, or their body doesn’t use insulin properly, making them insulin resistant. Exercise actually makes it easier to control your blood sugar levels.

Muscles can actually use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. In other words, even if you’re insulin resistant or you don’t have enough insulin, when you exercise, your muscles use glucose and your blood glucose level goes down. If you’re insulin resistant, exercise actually makes your insulin more effective. Your insulin resistance goes down when you exercise, and your cells use the glucose more effectively. Because your muscles use the most glucose, strength training is an incredibly effective way of controlling diabetes symptoms.

Preventing Diabetes with Strength Training

If you aren’t dealing with diabetes, then strength training is an excellent way to be proactive with your health and reduce your risk factors before they become a problem. The American Diabetes Association recommends that you reduce your risk factors using these benefits of an active lifestyle:

Physical activity can give you the following health benefits:

  • Helps lower your blood glucoseblood pressureHDL cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Lowers your risk for prediabetestype 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke
  • Relieves stress
  • Strengthens your heart, muscles and bones
  • Improves your blood circulation and tones your muscles
  • Keeps your body and your joints flexible

Get proactive with your health, and call today to find out how we at Vertex Fitness can help you to lower your risk factors for Type II diabetes.

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