The Connection Between Diabetes Mellitus and Exercise

diabetes mellitus exerciseFor type 2 diabetes patients, exercise is one of the activities they can do in order to control their disease. Through exercise and by living a healthy and active lifestyle, type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to obesity, can be managed. Patients are often confused however as how to go about their exercise routines. For the most part, they ask how much exercise they should be getting, how frequently they should do their routines, and what kind of exercises would give them the maximum benefits. However, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a medical journal that allows physicians and other health care experts to share information and breakthroughs in their fields, any form of exercise is better than doing none at all. However, some exercises provide far better results and benefits than other forms of exercises do. For instance, researchers revealed that aerobic exercise along with weight training can do a lot in controlling blood glucose levels.

Researchers at the University of Ottawa and University of Calgary conducted a study designed to determine the link between these diabetes and exercise. They gathered 251 diabetes patients, who are 39 to 70 years old and do not exercise regularly. The participants of the study were then divided into four groups and were randomly assigned to each of these. Members of the first group were told to perform aerobic exercises, while the second group was given resistance training. The third, on the other hand, did a combination of both exercise routines and the last group was instructed to do nothing at all. The study lasted for 22 weeks and participants of the group instructed to exercise on a regular basis were given routines that were not particularly difficult, though certain middle aged and elder people considered the routines rather taxing.

At the end of the experiment, the researchers found out that the patients who did the exercise routines had improved blood glucose levels as compared to those who did not do anything at all. More importantly, it is also worth noting that those who did both exercises benefitted the most. Comparing the data gathered from the three exercise groups, patients who worked out had improved blood pressure and better triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Participants in these groups also had significant, easily noticeable weight loss. This led to the improvement of patient’s overall bodily functions.

Some overweight individuals, especially those with diabetes, are discouraged to exercise because they hear stories about people getting a heart attack while doing so. However, workouts need not be that strenuous. As long as the patients give time to stretch or exercise for just a few minutes everyday, the complications of diabetes may be minimized. For diabetics who are older and are a bit on the heavy side, they should seek advice from their physicians before hitting the gym. Diabetics should also always bring water or have it available within reach whenever they workout to avoid getting dehydrated as losing water may also cause patients to get dizzy or light headed.


Song, Sora. Time in partnership with CNN. (2007). Study: The Best Exercise for Diabetes [Data file]. Retrieved from,8599,1662683,00.html.

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