Diabetics NEED exercise! We can improve our overall health, and especially our diabetes, with exercise. Can you get to a swimming pool? If not, can you get to a YMCA center? If so, Medicare will pay for your membership, and you can find a pool activities there. Here’s what a recent study found about aquatic exercise, as reported in Acta Diabetologica on July 10, 2017: Only about 30 percent of type 2 diabetics adhere to a traditional exercise program of walking, running, or resistance training.

“Our research group has conducted several exercise studies in people who have type 2 diabetes. We noticed that some people could not participate in our land-based (e.g., walking) studies due to barriers such as joint pain,” said lead author Normand Boule, a physical education and recreation researcher at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

They then planned to do a study on alternate forms of exercise to address some of these barriers. “Aquatic exercise seemed to be a logical alternative,” said Boule. But when Boule and his colleagues looked for studies on this topic, they surprisingly found that few such water-based exercise studies had been done. So, they pooled the results of nine published studies that examined aquatic exercises and blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The exercises included water walking or running, water cycling, and various types of water-based fitness classes.

The researchers found that after eight weeks, water exercisers had lowered their HbA1C by the same amount as people doing land-based exercise, but they also had improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides, Boule said.

Improvements in fitness and reductions in joint pain may translate to increases in the ability to be physically active in other ways. “If so, water-based exercise may further assist in improving quality-of-life outcomes such as mental health and physical function,” Boule said.

Source: “For Diabetics, Aquatic Exercise as Good as Working Out on Land”; Medscape – Aug 03, 2017.

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