There are two types of diabetes (Type 1 and
Type 2 Diabetes). Type 1 diabetes, only occurs in 5-10% of diabetic cases, it
tends to occur in early childhood/early adulthood. It is caused by the body’s
immune system destroying its own insulin-making cells (Beta-cells) of the
pancreas. It requires consistent treatment through the use of insulin
injections (Chamberlain, et al., 2016).
Type 2 diabetes, which I will discuss
throughout this paper, is when there is a progressive loss of insulin secretion
and in most cases there in an insulin resistance (Chamberlain, et al., 2016).
Type 2 diabetes can be completely prevented and in most cases it occurs in
people that either have a sedentary lifestyle and/or poor diet.
Prediabetes can also be diagnosed when
blood glucose levels are higher than the norm, but not quite high enough to be
classified as diabetes. When affected with higher blood glucose level there is
an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes, this can be
prevented/delayed with lifestyle changes, such as becoming more active and
changing your dietary habits. I will discuss this further throughout.
of Physical Activity with Type 2 Diabetes
There have been thousands of
studies/researches conducted in the area of ‘how physical activity can prevent
type 2 diabetes’ but saying this there is a lot of conflicting views/results.
Some studies have shown how aerobic exercise is more beneficial to prevent type
2 diabetes rather than resistance training and some say resistance training is
more beneficial. In my opinion from looking through papers a combination of
both would be the most beneficiary.
Aerobic training has been seen to have
dramatic impact on the human body, it increases insulin sensitivity,
mitochondrial density, immune function, cardiac output, oxidative enzymes, etc.
(Garber, et al., 2011). It has been proven that moderate to high intensity aerobic
activity is associated to lowering overall mortality risks in both type 1 and
type 2 diabetes.
In people suffering with type 2 diabetes, regular
aerobic training has been shown to reduce insulin resistance, but
high-intensity interval training (HIIT) really rapidly enhances insulin
sensitivity and glycemic control in adults (Little, et al., 2011). I believe
this study by Little, et al., really shows us how important not only aerobic
training is, but also HIIT.
In a study by Roberts, et al., 2013 acute
bouts of exercise and regular physical activity can really modify the insulin
action in the muscle and liver. This is actually backed up in a study by
Nielsen et al., where they have actually proven that aerobic exercise actually increases
muscle glucose uptake fivefold through insulin independent mechanisms. After
these acute bouts of exercise glucose uptake remains elevated for up to 48
hours in insulin dependent mechanisms.
When people with type 2 diabetes part take
in resistance training they improve their glycemic control; insulin resistance,
blood pressure, etc. but it has been shown not to have as significant of an
impact to aerobic exercise (Gordon, et al., 2009).
The combination of regular aerobic/endurance
training with resistance training may provide the greatest impact on glucose
uptake an insulin resistance (Wing et al., 2013), which in my opinion is the
best way of reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Not only does it reduce the
risk of type 2 diabetes but it works the different energy systems in the body
which is always a positive.
It also depends on the intensity of the
exercise undertaken as, as little as twenty minutes exercise with near-maximal
heart rate will result in twenty-four hours regular insulin activity (Van Dijk,
et al., 2012).