Mainstream medicine does not generally speak of diabetes in “curable” terms. Yet diet and exercise hold massive potential to essentially make diabetes curable.
Despite this, diabetes and the associated heart problems that ensue remain a health scourge in the US. From my standpoint in addressing risk and lifestyle changes, there is essentially little difference between heart disease and diabetes. I know this may sound a little crazy, but let’s face it…70% of diabetics die of cardiovascular complications, and this number does not include the large number of people who die of heart attacks or strokes before they became diabetic.
So, from a lifestyle change and risk factor standpoint diabetes = cardiovascular disease. Simple. Pick either the cardiology profession or the endocrinologists and we’ll tell one of them to take their toys and go home because the other group is going to handle the patients. If you manage one you are managing the other.
Clearly diet helps. “Helps,” of course, is an understatement. We have seen studies where diabetics are off of insulin in less than a week under a medically supervised very low calorie diet. That’s powerful.
The right type of exercise clearly plays a role as well. Regular readers will know that I am a very big fan of the short burst type aerobic exercise. The research continues to support this approach to aerobic exercise:
- Diabetics’ blood sugar after a meal is improved with short burst aerobic activity.
- 36% improvement in blood sugar after a single episode of short burst activity.
So this stuff is pretty easy. Basically, just leave your exercise bike in the hallway where you have to actually walk around it. Then, every time you walk by it, hop on it and pedal away like the Dickens for 30 seconds. Continue on down the hallway.
Here’s the thing.
YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING!
Diabetes is, without a doubt, the absolute worst thing that could happen to you. Period. It will kill you. Just being on the path to diabetes (prediabetes) will kill you. As in pay-up-your-life-insurance-premiums kill you.
Let’s let this particular study put a number on it.
Researchers compared the physical activity levels in diabetics and compared how this affected their risk of dying of heart disease. The findings are telling:
- In moderately active persons 38% lower risk of DYING
- This moderately active group had a 49% lower risk of dying from heart disease
- Leisure-time activity and walking were both associated with lower heart death risk
- Overall, those with the highest physical activity had a 40% lower risk of dying when compared to the sat-on-their-butt group
The bottom line for you diabetics out there…get moving or die. It’s that simple. It’s a choice you make every day. Make it the right one for those who care about you.
So, if you are diabetic, what exercise do you do every day to protect your heart?