Exercising for at least half an hour every day imperative to prevent Type 2 diabetes complications
Doctors should motivate patients to undertake a regular exercise routine
Patients with Type 2 diabetes should be prescribed physical activity to control their blood sugar and improve heart health, recommends a position paper from the European Association of Preventive Cardiology.
The paper provides practical recommendations for doctors on how to motivate patients to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, set achievable and measurable goals, and design customized exercise-training programmes to meet these goals.
Increasing cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF) and glycemic control are key clinical targets of exercise training programmes in patients with type 2 diabetes with cardiac co-morbidities, the paper recommends. It adds that patients should be evaluated for CRF to classify them according to their risk and optimal exercise prescription.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “A high-calorie diet rich in processed and junk food, obesity, and inactivity are some of the reasons for the increased number of younger people with diabetes in the country. Not getting checked in a timely manner and not following the doctor’s protocol further complicates matters for them, putting them at a risk of acquiring comorbid conditions at a relatively younger age. About 30 minutes of physical activity in any form every day can not only prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes but also a host of other health conditions and associated complications. There is also a belief that because young people with Type 2 diabetes do not need insulin, it is not as sinister as it seems. However, this is a false notion. This condition requires immediate treatment and management.”
The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, slow healing of infections and wounds, and skin darkening in certain areas.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Small and gradual changes can be made in the family will also be encouraging for youngsters for a healthy lifestyle. These can help youngsters lose weight (if that is the issue) or help them make better eating choices, thereby lowering the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. This is truer for those with a genetic susceptibility to the condition. Operating as a team, a family, is much more likely to be successful.”
Some tips from HCFI
- A diet rich in whole grain, fruits, and vegetables is very good for the body. Fibrous food will ensure that you feel fuller for a longer period and prevent any cravings. Avoid processed and refined food as much as possible.
- Limit your alcohol intake and quit smoking. Too much alcohol leads to weight gain and can increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should limit drinks to two per day and women to one per day. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers and therefore, it is a good idea to quit this habit.
- Understand your risk factors as it can help you in taking preventive measures at the earliest and avoid complications.