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ADA recommends diabetes patients get a move on — every 30 minutes


Retailers may soon want to add fitness guides and office-friendly exercise equipment to their diabetes sets. The American Diabetes Association last month released new guidance suggesting physical movement improves blood-sugar management for people who have sedentary jobs, and in people who are overweight, obese and who have difficulty maintaining blood sugars in a healthy range.

(To view the full Diabetes Report, click here.)

In fact, the ADA is recommending patients with diabetes get a move on with some form of physical activity — beyond their routine workouts — every 30 minutes of every day.

“This movement should be in addition to regular exercise, as it is highly recommended for people with diabetes to be active,” suggested Sheri Colberg-Ochs, consultant/director of physical fitness for the American Diabetes Association and lead author of the new study that served as an impetus behind the ADA’s updated recommendations. “Since incorporating more daily physical activity can mean different things to different people with diabetes, these guidelines offer excellent suggestions on what to do, why to do it and how to do it safely.”

The most notable recommendation calls for three or more minutes of light activity, such as walking, leg extensions or overhead arm stretches, every 30 minutes during prolonged sedentary activities for improved blood-sugar management, particularly for people with Type 2 diabetes. This is a shift from the association’s previous recommendation of physical movement every 90 minutes of sedentary time. This is the first time the Association has issued independent, comprehensive guidelines on physical activity and exercise for all people with diabetes. Specific recommendations are outlined for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Aerobic activity benefits patients with Type 2 diabetes by improving blood-sugar management, as well as encouraging weight loss and reducing cardiovascular risks. Movement that encourages flexibility and balance are helpful for people with Type 2 diabetes, especially older adults. Regular exercise that incorporates aerobic and resistance training activities also offers health benefits for people with Type 1 diabetes.

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