It is not a secret that exercise, along with a proper diet, is crucial for keeping your body in shape and preventing diseases. Regular physical activity improves your well-being and quality of life, increases lifespan, and improves brain functioning. Prospering societies struggle particularly with type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, all being strictly related and leading to high mortality. The core problem of type 2 diabetes is blood glucose levels that are too high which when uncontrolled, can cause damage in blood vessels, kidney, bones etc. Many scientific studies indicate that exercise can prevent or  ameliorate type 2 diabetes and obesity. If you are diabetic (suffering either from type 2 or type 1 diabetes), you should get acquainted with the latest American Diabetes Association (ADA) exercise guidelines. In the context of type 2 diabetes, ADA gives the following take-home messages:

  • Exercise daily to enhance the action of insulin (the hormone that controls your blood sugar levels). Don’t go for more than 2 days without a workout. Do both aerobic and resistance exercise training.
  • If you are at high risk of type 2 diabetes or are prediabetic, do at least 150min/week of physical activity and try to reduce your weight by  5%–7% 
  • Avoid sitting for too long. Every 30 minutes, get up and get active— Walk around the block, go up and down the stairs, or stretch.
Exercise can both prevent and help you manage type 2 diabetes.

Exercise can prevent diabetes even if you don’t lose any weight. If you already have diabetes, exercise can improve the action of insulin and can reduce the glucose circulating in your blood. Exercise increases the oxygen in your tissues and also positively affects  muscle and fat, causing a significant and beneficial switch in your glucose metabolism and normalizing sugar levels.  Although any type of physical activity is better than nothing, more intense physical exercise seems to have greater benefit for reducing your levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Exercise also changes the collection of microbes in your gut, which can reduce obesity. A recent study showed that mixed endurance and strength exercise can change the bacterial composition of the gut in obese children and make it resemble that of the healthy controls. 

These examples should convince you how many good things you can do to your body through regular physical activity. No doubt that currently we are living a different life and that COVID19 redefined everything around us, limiting our activities and making  many of us sedentary due to new work-from-home schedules. Rapid virus spreading and enhanced sanitary regimens limited access to gyms. The novel coronavirus is particularly dangerous for type 2 diabetics suffering from obesity (due to a compromised immunological response), and this group should be particularly careful and avoid exposing themselves. On the other hand, for some people staying home equals to eating more and gaining even more weight . The only solution is try not to justify oneself with the pandemic and simply adjust to a new reality without giving up on exercise. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there: 1) you can consider getting  exercise appliances, like a stationary cycling bike 2) you can order all the needed exercise accessories online (even a simple mat is enough to do a full-body workout) 3) you can start searching for free online workouts, offered by professionals (a big advantage is that you can feel like a VIP having a one-on-one session with famous personal coaches). So, no more excuses- start today- get a pair of comfy shoes, a sports outfit and boost your energy at your own home-based gym!