Diabetes is a common condition that currently affects approximately 3.7 million people in the UK. Around 90 percent of children and adults living with diabetes in the UK have Type 2 diabetes.
Insulin plays a vital role in each of our daily lives, it lets the glucose in our blood enter our cells and helps maintain our bodies. For those living with Type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to produce the correct levels of insulin required to function properly, which results in high levels of glucose the blood.
Symptoms can include feeling exceptionally tired, needing to urinate frequently, feeling extremely thirsty, infections (such as thrush), and cuts and grazes healing slowly. Some people living with Type 2 diabetes can go undiagnosed for up to 10 years, as they fail to notice the symptoms or may not get any of them.
More severe symptoms, also known as complications of diabetes might develop after a prolonged period of time and can seriously impact your heart, eyes, feet and kidneys.
Although Type 2 diabetes is generally more widely associated with adults aged 40 and older, it can develop at any age. Diagnoses are becoming more well-known amongst children and young adults and this is often linked with having a family history of Type 2 diabetes, being overweight and inactive.
To Reduce The Risk Of Being Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes You Need To:
- Become more active
- Manage your weight
- Improve your diet
Become More Active
Leading a sedentary lifestyle is a big risk factor to being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Being active goes hand in hand with managing your weight and helping to reduce your waist size, it also lowers your blood pressure and aids with your mental well being and sleep.
Adults should be aiming for 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week, this can be broken down into 30 minutes of activity, 5 days a week. You could try shorter bursts of more vigorous activity if you’re used to exercising.
Moderate intensity fitness can be described as exercise that increases your heart rate and speeds up your breathing, but you are still able to hold a conversation, such as brisk walking, a light jog or a leisurely swim.
A vigorous intensity workout is defined as activity that leaves you out of breath and where you can’t hold a conversation. Strength exercises are also recommended on two days a week.
Activities That Are Great For Moderate Intensity Activity Are:
- Leisurely jogging
- Walking sports e.g. walking football, walking netball
- Light cardio and strength in the gym
Activities That Are Useful For Vigorous Intensity Exercise Are:
- High intensity cardio workout
- Spin class
- Aerobics class
- Running or jogging
- Football, Basketball, Tennis (singles)
- Strength exercises
Tips To Reduce Sedentary Behaviour:
- Stand up whilst talking to people on the phone
- Walk around whilst the advert breaks are on during your favourite programme
- Do some squats or other exercises whilst the kettle is boiling
- Go for a walk at lunch time
- Get a sit-stand desk
- Use the stairs instead of the lift
- Park further away from your destination
- Get off the bus one stop earlier and walk
For Further Information Support Is Available From:
- Your GP, they can signpost you to a weight management group or a dietitian
- The local council they should have information on activities in the area
- NHS website
- Free Couch to 5k app
- Diabetes UK website