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

Entries Tagged as 'Exercise For Diabetes'

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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The Most Efficient Exercise for Losing Weight

February 7th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Physical activities like walking, hiking, running, and swimming are better than resistance training for burning fat, according to a new study. The study by researchers from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, is the largest randomized trial that ever analyzed changes in our body composition from the three main ways that we get exercise.

These ways are (1) aerobic training — the activities like walking, hiking, running, and swimming, (2) resistance training like weight lifting, and (3) a combination of these two. In the conventional wisdom people had believed that increased metabolism from resistance training alone could reduce our body mass or fat mass, but the study found that it didn’t.

The study, “Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in
overweight or obese adults,” appears in the December 15 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology. Only the abstract of the study is online, but the lead author, Leslie H. Willis, kindly sent me the full-text. He is the clinical research coordinator at Duke Medical Center – Cardiology.

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Natural Exercise to Help Manage Diabetes

May 28th, 2012 · 1 Comment

When we think about managing our diabetes, we are almost always considering what we eat. Many of us rely on diabetes medications to stay in control. Some of us keep our blood glucose levels low with exercise.

But we rarely consider how our minds and bodies interact. We seldom think about how stress in our minds can make our bodies feel bad. When we feel bad, we sometimes overeat, don’t take our medication, or fail to get the exercise we need.

When it comes to stress, less is better, at least up to a point. Less stress means less tasks to do, fewer distractions and possessions to have, and even less civilization to live in. We need a new focus on “Less stress is beautiful” to go beyond the previous century’s “small is beautiful” movement.

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Better Fitness for Our Hearts and Blood Glucose

March 30th, 2012 · 4 Comments

Most people say they don’t have enough time to get the exercise that the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association say we need to protect our hearts and manage our diabetes. Their standard recommendation of 30 minutes a day five times a week works out to 2 ½ hours a week. And that doesn’t count the time it takes to get to the trail or the gym.

When we work one or more full-time jobs, interact with our family and friends, relax and sleep a little, we often feel like we don’t have any time left to work out. If only we could find a shortcut!

Now, however, some researchers have the answer. By trading intensity for time we can much more efficiently get the physical activity we all need.

The trick is a new twist on the interval training that almost all competitive athletics use to build up their speed and endurance. The usual interval training combines bursts of high-intensity exercise with longer periods of regular intensity exercise. A former girlfriend who is both a Certified Diabetes Educator and an athlete taught me that several years ago, and I recommended it then in “Efficient Exercise for Glucose Control.”

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Walk More, Sit Less

November 12th, 2011 · 1 Comment

When Dr. Bob Sallis called me, he was standing in line at an airport. I was sitting down.

My mistake.

We had scheduled an interview for this article about walking. But the message that he wanted to get out was both about walking and sitting.

“Some of the recent studies are showing that if you sit the rest of the day after exercise you negate the benefits of your exercise,” Dr. Sallis told me. “You have to be conscious of too much sitting.”

One of my wives once told me, only half in jest, that she never stands when she could sit and never sits when she could lie down. That’s only a slight exaggeration of what most of us have become.

I used to sit as much as my late wife did. But last year when I learned that “Standing Helps Heart Health,” I finally got my act together. Soon, I got a desk where I can work standing up.

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Exercise to Control A1C

June 12th, 2011 · 1 Comment

For years the experts have been telling us that exercise is important for us to control our diabetes. But they never told us how important it is.

Even the experts didn’t know. Until now.

Tomorrow, the American Medical Association’s professional journal, JAMA, will publish a systematic review and meta-analysis of previously published studies. Each of those studies was at least 12 weeks long and randomized and controlled clinical trials. Meeting these criteria were 47 trials that included 8,538 people.

Daniel Umpierre of the Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Brazil, and eight colleagues call their meta-analysis “Physical Activity Advice Only or Structured Exercise Training and Association With HBA1c Levels in Type 2 Diabetes.” JAMA made the full-text of the meta-analysis available to me under embargo until this afternoon, and the abstract is online.
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The New York Times: “Is Sugar Toxic?”

May 21st, 2011 · 1 Comment

In 1961 I started to read The New York Times when I went to work in Washington. But its magazine always disappointed me.

Until Sunday. This week’s issue focuses on “Health and Wellness 2011.” All four of the magazine’s main articles are essential reading for everyone.

The cover story by Gary Taubes, “Is Sugar Toxic?,” makes the case against sugar. This isn’t his first time to tilt at the medical establishment in this magazine. Nine years ago his article, “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?,” began his crusade to expose the myth that fat was bad and carbohydrates are good.

His 2007 book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, built on that article so well that it convinced me and thousands of others to follow a very low-carb diet. In “Addicted to Carbs” I wrote here three years ago about how that book changed my life. With his book, Why We Get Fat: and What to Do About It, Taubes takes his argument to a wider, non-scientific audience.

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Doing Tai Chi for Balance

March 3rd, 2011 · 1 Comment

When you have diabetes, you know that falls come with the territory. If you are a senior citizen, this is doubly true.

Even worse is when you hike a lot on mountain trails, as I do. In the past few years I took several tumbles, fortunately not falling off a cliff or breaking a hip.

That never worried me much, but I was concerned that a fall could bring back an old knee injury that not long ago had made climbing difficult. When you are 75 years old with a history of 16 years of diabetes and a hiker, you’ve got to be careful.

And just being careful isn’t enough. All of us who have diabetes, who have more than a few years of life experience, or who hike need good balance.

So when a friend told me last year that the Tai Chi Chuan she was learning improved her balance, I listened. I remembered that Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that millions of people around the world practice for its defensive training or its health benefits. Tai Chi enhances our balance and body awareness through slow, graceful, and precise body movements.

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