If you’re looking for better ways to manage your Type 2 Diabetes or simply trying to prevent it, keep reading because we could have some advice for you!

Physical Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes affects little under half a billion individuals around the world. In 2030, that number is expected to climb by 25% and by 51% in 2045. Diabetes is a widespread health concern characterized by the body’s inability to break down sugar due to insulin inefficiency, which can lead to a variety of consequences, including the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with diabetes. People of all ages can get diabetes, and it is linked to muscle weakness, fatigue, balance issues, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and musculoskeletal abnormalities.

  • Diabetes can impair a person’s ability to move freely due to joint mobility difficulties and tissue alterations, which result in larger and stiffer collagen tissues in tendons, skin, and discs, increasing the risk of injury.

Exercise reduces your risk of having the condition by about 25%, according to researchers in the United Kingdom. So, how much exercise is sufficient? Because the beneficial benefits on blood sugar fade 72 hours after you end your activity, the amount of exercise you do is significant. This implies you should spread out your activities throughout the week rather than aiming to get your exercise in once a week, such as on the weekend. The American Diabetes Association suggests 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week. Those with peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage induced by diabetes, should avoid weight-bearing activities.

A combination of cardio, resistance, and endurance training is the ideal fitness regimen for people with type 2 diabetes. We can also offer patients a fall prevention program that will help them regain independence with functional activities, mobility, and safety awareness while lowering their risk of falling.

Here are some of the exercises that are recommended during Type 2 Diabetes physical therapy:

Walking – All you need is a good pair of shoes and a trail, route, or sidewalk to do this activity. Taking a brisk stroll three to five times a week will get you close to meeting the suggested exercise goals.

Stationary Bicycling — This low-impact exercise can assist in building muscles and reduce joint pain.

Swimming is another activity that is easy on the joints while also providing a full-body workout.

Zumba is an aerobic dancing style that encourages you to move about freely! This will not only offer your body a workout, but it will also allow you to connect with people who are trying to better their health in similar ways to you.

Exercises with resistance bands – You may train in a totally different way with resistance bands than you would normally. However, consultation with a physical therapist before using them is recommended. Your therapist can teach you how to use the bands safely. They can also recommend exercises that are suited for your health and fitness level.

Yoga can help with flexibility and joint health. It can also give you a mental boost.

Additional Exercise Safety Tips

Exercise should be a fun, safe, and engaging experience. Here are some exercise recommendations for diabetics.

  • Check Your Blood Sugar — To ensure that you’re maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, check your blood sugar every 30 minutes during activity and four hours thereafter.

  • Examine Your Feet/Shoes — People with this illness are at risk for diabetic neuropathy, a kind of nerve damage that most commonly affects the legs and feet. Diabetes neuropathy can cause major problems such as ulcers, infection, and bone and joint discomfort. Make sure you’re wearing clean socks and comfortable shoes. Check your feet for blisters or signs of discomfort before and after any activity.

  • Snacks and hydration – It is critical to stay hydrated in order to avoid harm. If you have low blood sugar, having some quick-acting sweet food on hand is also essential.

  • Warm-Up/Cool-Down — We recommend warming up for 5 minutes before beginning your workout and cooling down for 5 minutes afterward. If you start to feel uneasy, take a few minutes to rest and assess your situation. Use the “conversation test” to ensure you’re not overworking yourself. Slow down if you find yourself out of breath and unable to speak. You’ll be able to work out at a higher intensity and converse with people while having fun as your fitness level develops.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, you can benefit from physical therapy to treat weakness, balance issues, lack of activity, and other issues. As previously stated, skipping regular physical activity for more than two days in a row can result in glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity, so keep your physical therapy visits and follow our home exercise advice. We can work together to control your diabetes and live a happy, healthy life.

If you are in the Asheville, NC area and are interested in starting physical therapy to help with your Type 2 Diabetes, then CONNECT with one of the experts at 1on1 Physical Therapy, we’d love to partner with you!

Did you enjoy this article? You may also like: Physical Therapy vs Occupational Therapy