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Sport with Diabetes?! Higher quality of life with an athletic spirit
More than 360 million people around the world suffer from diabetes. Every year, the number of new cases increases that amount by the hundreds of thousands.
Important issues to consider
In regard to the treatment of the disease, diabetics should especially consider endurance sports that train the cardiovascular system and lungs, such as jogging, Nordic walking, hiking or cycling. Particularly with intensive physical activity, it is indispensable to get medical advice and support from a specialist. The individual diabetes therapy needs to be adjusted to the kind and intensity of sport. In this process, the respective demands of the different types of diabetes mellitus have to be considered. The two most common forms are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
Since their pancreases fail to produce insulin, type 1 diabetics have to inject the hormone on a regular basis. During physical activity, however, the muscles consume more sugar, which is why the injected amount can be too much. In contrast to healthy athletes, whose body reduces the release of insulin, the blood sugar level of type 1 diabetics goes down. Depending on the blood sugar values, which have to be measured before, during and after training, they have to inject less insulin, eat more carbohydrates or both, in order to avoid hypoglycaemia. The exact adjustment with the respective values needs to be discussed with the doctor.
Type 2 diabetes
The most common form of diabetes mellitus does not include a lack of insulin; however, the cells are not able to react to the hormone, as the receptors are resistant against insulin. As a result, type 2 diabetics struggle with having too high a level of blood sugar. The reasons for this disease are mostly overweight or hereditary predisposition. Type 2 diabetics especially need to have their physical ability checked by a doctor, as this type is often accompanied by high blood pressure or heart conditions. Insulin-dependent diabetics also need to adjust their dose to the physical activity.
Despite the additional difficulties which diabetics have to deal with, regular training comes with plenty of positive effects; most importantly, the improvement of relevant values. These include normal body weight, a level of blood sugar under 160 mg% with type 2 diabetes and under 180 mg% with type 1 diabetes, blood pressure lower than 140/85 mmHg and blood lipid values under mg%.
Continuous training supports a healthy treatment of diabetes. Regular, controlled strain in endurance sport not only leads to the body’s adjustment, but also to an improved blood sugar level. In the best case scenario, pill or insulin therapy can be delayed for years through regular physical activity. On top of that, the risk of subsequent damage is reduced.
The improved awareness of the own body also helps diabetics in coping with their disease. Because of the extensive experience with the own body, diabetics learn to recognise hypoglycaemia earlier. Thereby, the own experience helps with the therapeutic adjustment to the sport. Regular physical exercise is particularly important for type 2 diabetics, as it not only supports weight reduction, but also improves sensitivity to insulin.
Also the psychological aspect is of great significance. Besides improvements of blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipid values, physically-active people with diabetes gain more confidence, also in dealing with their disease.
Controlling and Monitoring
Organisation, discipline and training monitoring are important prerequisites for every endurance athlete in practicing sport healthily and successfully. But these qualities are of special significance for physically active diabetics. The measuring device for determining and monitoring the blood sugar values always has to be at the diabetic’s side. Moreover, digital running tools help with controlling endurance training. The JogStyle from Omron Healthcare, for instance, reliably measures a wide range of running data, such as current and average speed, distance and running time, as well as the amount of calories and fat burnt. With the memory function, users can not only analyse and improve the own performance, but also see individual progress in weight management. Thereby, active diabetics can face their disease with athletic spirit.
Read further information and articles about running and health at www.myjogstyle.com.
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About Omron Healthcare
Committed to improving people’s lives, OMRON Healthcare provides clinically proven, innovative medical equipment for health monitoring and therapy. Our product portfolio includes blood pressure monitors, respiratory therapy devices, electronic fever thermometers and activity monitors as well as body composition monitors and professional medical devices. OMRON Healthcare Group is headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. OMRON Healthcare Europe B.V. is the healthcare division for Europe, Russia, Middle East and Africa, and provides service to customers in more than 60 countries through a powerful distribution network.
For more information, please visit www.omron-healthcare.com.
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