Diabetes (and pre-diabetes) is a chronic condition which results in increased blood sugar levels (BSL). Diabetes occurs when the body loses its ability to control BSL due to the decreased effectiveness of the hormone insulin. The most common first appearing symptoms of diabetes include:
- Excessive thirst and hunger
- Frequent urination
- Weight gain/loss
Diabetes can be classified in two different ways:
- Impaired Fasting Glucose: increased BSL at rest after a period of not eating.
- Impaired Glucose Tolerance: increased BSL after eating and delayed return to baseline
Risk factors for diabetes included physical inactivity and a calorie dense, nutrient poor diet.
The goal for exercising with diabetes is to achieve 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise with no more than 2 consecutive days without exercise. In addition to this, strength training should be done twice per week with the goal of building up muscle mass to improve insulin sensitivity. Support from an exercise specialist is recommended at the start with occasional supervision as needed following the initial phase.