A recent study by the European Association of Preventive Cardiology has highlighted the huge benefits of exercise on patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Over recent years, there has been more research put into exercise and reducing Type 2 Diabetes, which has shown positive signs, with authors of this most recent study stating; “Sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets are the most important drivers of the increasing number of patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks,”
This continued focus towards referring exercise calls for more fitness professionals to get involved with Exercise Referral to help combat growing problems such as Diabetes. With more specialist Exercise Referral and Obesity and Diabetes courses being on offer than before, there is now a range of options that Personal Trainers and Gym Instructors can explore to get involved in a growingly problematic area of health and fitness.
One in 11 adults worldwide have diabetes, of which 90% is type 2 diabetes. Nearly all patients with type 2 diabetes develop cardiovascular problems, which are the leading causes of death in this study group. Previously, diabetics have been pushed towards medication to help combat the problem, but this recent research calls for GPs to refer exercise to their diabetic patients, as it is shown to have a monumental effect without creating a dependency on medication to fight the problem.
Dr. Harlend Kemps, a lead author of the study has said; “Just advising patients to exercise, which is what doctors typically do, is not enough…”, “Patients must be assessed for comorbidities, risks related to exercise, and personal preferences…”
Although experts say we need to do more, they also say that; “This will be cost effective in the long run so we have to wake up policymakers and healthcare insurers to pay for it. That needs clinicians to take the lead and call for programmes to be reimbursed.”
For now, Dr. Kemps says that we need to find an alternative, with one option being that, “Patients should see their doctor for a personalised plan, and those with health insurance should ask if exercise programmes are covered.” There isn’t much that Diabetics themselves can do without the lack of focus and funding from policymakers, but these temporary approaches suggested by Kemps will certainly help in the short term.
Although there is now a clear focus on referring exercise to diabetic patients, this should not push diabetic patients away from pursuing their own exercise by going on walks, runs or simply just reducing the time spent sitting down. Doing moderate exercise has shown to have massive benefits to diabetic clients, as they are able to get into a positive workout routine, which can then influence other healthy lifestyle changes.
Carrying out exercise at home helps to not only combat diabetes but it also helps to prevent it in the first place. Although, if it was this easy, we wouldn’t be in the position we are in, so it is now the fitness industry’s job to use tailored exercise, training and care to help diabetic clients improve their wellbeing. One easy way that this can be achieved is by Personal Trainers using their skills and expertise to assess clients, as this will help them reach Diabetic clients’ needs better.
Overall, this study doesn’t bring too much to light, as experts were already aware of the huge benefits of exercise on those with Type 2 Diabetics. Although, what the study does do is add a big emphasis on the importance of GPs referring exercise and the amount of work that needs to be done and the policies that need changing if we want to make this sort of care available to all Type 2 Diabetics.