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Health topics


Exercise and diabetes

How it affects you

Diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce or use insulin properly. We need insulin to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. Although the cause of diabetes is a mystery, genetics, obesity and lack of exercise appear to be some causes.

What are the different types of diabetes?

Type 1 is usually diagnosed in young children and young adults. This is where the body does not produce insulin. This is treated primarily through insulin injections and a balanced diet.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2, the body either does not produce enough insulin or the cells do not take the sugar from insulin into the cells. This can cause a build up of unused glucose in the blood.

When glucose builds up in the blood your body (cells) may become starved of energy. If this continues over a period of time, high blood glucose levels may damage your eyes, kidneys and nerves of the heart.

Remember - sugar is the basic fuel for cells in the body. Insulin takes sugar from the blood and distributes it to the cells.

How does exercise effect diabetes?

  • Physical activity can lower your blood glucose (sugar)

  • Physical activity helps insulin to work better as the blood glucose balance is working to ensure that you have enough sugar to exercise

  • Combine activity with a healthy diet and it will help to better your energy levels

  • If you are taking medication that could cause low blood glucose, talk to our Fitness team who can provide help if you need it

Exercise and back care

Looking after your back and keeping it pain free and mobile is something we may all adhere to during our lives. Back pain can come in many forms. In our spine, for example, we have gel-filled discs between our vertebrae. Pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord can be very painful. Disc damage can be herniated where the disc bulges, or prolapsed where there is damage to the disc surface.

Causes can be through injury or poor posture and weak muscles (through lack of use) can lead to more chronic conditions.There are many reasons and causes for back pain however sitting for long periods of time such as work or driving put our backs at risk. To combat back pain or lower back muscle weakness, exercise can be very effective.

Muscles around the lower back and pelvis provide vital support. If these deep muscles (the core) are not strong or coordinated, other muscles take over leading to imbalance in the body. Exercise in the gym, pilates and Body Balance can really help improve the health of the back. Our fitness team can give you a specific exercise routine to improve posture and back strength.