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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Exercise For Diabetes'

Interval Training Cuts Diabetes Blood Sugar

October 5th, 2014 · No Comments

When it comes to our walking speed, moderation doesn’t seem to be the best policy.

Those of us who have diabetes can manage our blood sugar levels better when we alternate between slow and fast walking, according to a new study. When we walk at a constant pace, we don’t get the reduced blood sugar benefit of our physical activity.

The conclusions of the study fly in the face of the usual recommendations that people with type 2 diabetes should avoid high-intensity exercise out of concern that we might get hurt and because we just aren’t likely to take this advice. Yet, the new study doesn’t show that we get any better blood sugar control unless we do interval training.

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3 Reasons Why Some People with Diabetes Need to Run or Jog a BIT

October 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

A new study of more than 55,000 runners is huge good news for most people with diabetes who are too busy to dedicate a lot of time to physical activity. The experts have been telling us for years that working out is good for our health and happiness, but until now nobody knew how little physical activity we really need.

Intensity is the key that researchers from Iowa State University, the University of South Carolina, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and other institutions discovered. They published their new study last week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The abstract of the study, “Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk,” is online. D.C. Lee, assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University, is the study’s lead author, and his university gave me a copy of the full text at my request.

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The Best Exercise for People with Diabetes

September 27th, 2014 · No Comments

Lately I’ve been thinking about the best way for those of us who have diabetes to get the exercise we need to stay in shape and to help us manage our diabetes better. But until now I only had my own opinion.

The best exercise, I had decided on the basis of my experience, was to get the exercise we like, because that’s the only exercise that you or I will keep on doing. That’s true, but frankly I didn’t have much more to say about it. Now I do, because a new study shows for a fact that this is what works.

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This morning Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab announced some exciting new research. It had appeared in the May issue of a journal that I wouldn’t otherwise have read, Marketing Letters: A Journal of Research in Marketing.

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Exercise Snacks Control Diabetes Levels Better

June 21st, 2014 · No Comments

All of us snack on food from time when we’re hungry and hope that it wouldn’t raise our blood sugar too much. But I wonder how many of us take “exercise snacks.”

New studies on food and exercise snacks point us in different directions. Food snacking may not be what it’s cracked up to be, and I will report on that study soon. But a new concept of exercise snacking is showing that brief but intense exercise before meals can help us manage our diabetes better.


In the paragraph above I emphasized the phrase “before meals” because we already knew that when we get exercise after a big meal we can quickly bring down our blood sugar level. That’s a good strategy that I have followed myself ever since my late wife asked me after dinner one evening what she could do to reverse a high level somewhere above 200. We went out for a moderate 10 to 15 minute walk, and when we got back home and she tested again her level had dropped to little above 100.

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The Fast Path to Heart Health with Diabetes

August 31st, 2013 · 9 Comments

Almost all of us who have diabetes are too busy to keep our hearts in good shape. At least most of us act as if we were.

When our hearts get out of shape, we aren’t so busy any more. Heart disease is the most common as well as the most serious complication of diabetes.

This combination of lack of time and importance of heart health drive my quest for a quicker way to meet this challenge of living long with diabetes.


Lead Author Arnt Erik Tjønna (left) Tests a Volunteer for his Maximal Oxygen Uptake

A couple of weeks ago I learned the answer when I was in Canada’s Yukon Territory. I was driving to Alaska, where I am enjoying a cool summer. I had my car radio tuned to 105.1 FM from Burwash Landing, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio One station. The speaker was Dr. Brian Goldman.

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Easy Steps to Diabetes Control

August 24th, 2013 · 3 Comments

All the things that that we need to do when we learn we have diabetes and want to manage it can seem daunting. Diet, weight loss, exercise, reducing stress and inflammation, and taking pills or insulin can add up to a major headache.

But a brand new study shows that one of these tasks has become much easier. A little exercise can be a big help in bringing down our blood sugar level after a meal.

We have known for years that a brisk walk of half an hour can bring down our sugar level. I well remember when my late wife Catherine asked what she could do when her blood glucose meter showed that her level was above 200 about an hour after dinner. I suggested that we take a brisk walk around the block, and when we got back home and she tested again, her level was almost down to normal.

The difference in her levels before and after that exercise impressed both of us. But the new study shows that we have something that is much better. It’s easy and reduces our sugar level even more.

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Standing Up for Diabetes

August 21st, 2013 · No Comments

Besides eating wisely, what could be the best way to manage diabetes than getting a lot of exercise? For years the experts have been telling us that we need to work out regularly and to get our required dose of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Exercise helps, but just getting off our butts now seems to be even more important. Stand up please!

This is the message of two recent reports in peer-reviewed professional journals. One of them focuses on people with pre-diabetes and other other on those of us who have type 2 diabetes. But the message is appropriate for all of us.

People with pre-diabetes are just like people with diabetes except that they have a choice because they still have enough beta cells in their pancreas. If they manage their condition now, they won’t have to manage diabetes all the rest of their lives.

The study of people with pre-diabetes analyzed 153 people in two earlier studies who had known risk factors for type 2 diabetes. This is the first study that has examined the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on diabetes. The new study, “Associations of objectively measured sedentary behaviour and physical activity with markers of cardiometabolic health,” appears in the May 2013 issue of Diabetologia, the official journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The full-text is free online.

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Diet and Exercise for Diabetes Management

June 4th, 2013 · No Comments

One of the wisest researchers who I know writes that exercise won’t help us to lose weight. But in my experience it does, and weight loss is crucial for almost all of us who have diabetes, because our weight is a big factor in high blood sugar levels.

“Appetite and thus calories consumed will increase to compensate for physical activity,” writes Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Calories. When I read the first edition of this book in 2007, it finally convinced me that I could control my diabetes and my weight on a very low-carb diet. It worked: my current A1C is 5.4 and my current BMI is 19.2. Both of these numbers are big improvements over what they were six years ago.

In his subsequent book, Taubes elaborated on his statement. This doessound persuasive.

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Walking Equals Running for Heart and Diabetes Health

May 10th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Even the experts were surprised by the comparison between walking and running just reported in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. Since I am a reformed jogger and am now a dedicated walker, the results delighted me and I think that they will make a lot of other people who have diabetes happy and healthy.

The difference with the new study is that it compared the number of miles we cover, not the amount of time we move. The study concluded that walking briskly can lower our risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes as much as running can.

“Walking and running provide an ideal test of the health benefits of moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running because they involve the same muscle groups and the same activities performed at different intensities,” says Paul T. Williams, Ph.D., the study’s principal author. He is also a staff scientist in the life science division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

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Get Fit Fast with Diabetes

March 22nd, 2013 · No Comments

Would you rather SIT or HIT?

SIT sounds like it’s too passive and HIT sounds too aggressive. But they are actually acronyms for intense forms of activity that can help us to better health and fitness in a fraction of the time that current exercise programs recommend.

SIT is Sprint Interval Training. HIT is High Intensity Interval Training (because HIIT is harder to say).

Sprint Interval Training means going all out in 30 second sprints on special laboratory bikes interspersed with four and one-half minutes of slow cycling. If you are young and healthy, this is probably the fastest way for you to get fit.

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