Aerobic exercise and strength training can be almost as effective as some drugs in controlling blood sugar levels. For example, a 2012 JAMA study found that 9 percent of people with type 2 diabetes who combined an exercise program with dietary changes for two years eliminated their need for medication altogether..
Getting started To avoid low blood sugar, time exercise around meals or insulin and always have a sugar-rich snack handy. If you have vision problems or altered sensation in your hands or feet, make sure you are supervised at first. Many hospitals have diabetes clinics or diabetes educators, and your doctor may be able to refer you to someone who develops workouts for people with diabetes.
Aim for 150 minutes of moderate activities such as walking, biking, or swimming each week, in three to five sessions. Strength training is important, too: The more muscle you have, the less likely you are to store excess glucose as fat, says Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., emeritus professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., and a specialist in diabetes and exercise. Try to do eight to 10 repetitions of eight to 10 different moves two to three times each week, usually your own body weight or tools such as exercise bands or hand weights.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health September 2016
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