Jan
09
2009

Can exercise help control diabetes?

Faith and Aaron running (Photo by hoyasmeg - CC-BY)

Faith and Aaron running (Photo by hoyasmeg – CC-BY)

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato

Few would argue against the overwhelming evidence¬† that physical exercise is beneficial to human health. It should therefore come as no surprise that exercise can do wonders for halting the progress of diabetes and keeping existing symptoms under control. Exercise and proper nutrition can help stabilize blood glucose levels and facilitate the proper utilization of glucose by the body’s cells for the energy needed for daily activities.

Obesity and inactivity are major factors in the development of Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. Fortunately, body weight and activity level are also highly adaptable to individual control. While some might argue that adults have earned the right to make their own decisions regarding exercise and health, it is our responsibility as parents and educators to help our children forge the right path toward a healthy lifestyle. The alarming rise in obesity among children is putting them at greater and greater risk for a disease which was previously restricted primarily to adults! Diabetes and its associated conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and joint problems are now affecting our nation’s youth as poor nutrition and inactivity are becoming the norm.

Exercise programs can be fun for children and adults alike. Young children simply need to play! Whether indoors or outdoors, children need to move! Active games, walking to and from school, youth sports and fitness programs, summer activity camps and child-friendly gyms can all help children stay on the road to health and fitness. Adults can engage in simple walking programs and progress to more challenging activities as they become accustomed to activity. There is an endless supply of exercise videos for both children and adults that are geared toward any fitness level. You can even stand in front of your computer and exercise to online videos for free!

Diabetes is a serious but controllable disease. Few diseases show such a positive response to individual efforts at a healthy lifestyle  by incorporating adequate exercise and good nutrition. A pair of fitness shoes and a healthy diet can help to halt diabetes in its tracks.

Are you willing to lead the fight against diabetes by moving your feet today?

For more information, visit the American Diabetes Association website.

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