Type 2 Diabetes: How Activity can Reduce Your Risks

Around 90 percent of the 3.7 million people living with diabetes in the UK have Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a fairly common condition where body cannot produce enough insulin to deal with the amount of glucose in the blood stream.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Insulin is an incredibly important hormone. It allows the glucose in our blood (which we have consumed through food and drink) into our cells, giving us energy. Those living with Type 2 diabetes cannot produce the correct levels of insulin. This can result in high blood glucose levels.

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include feeling very tired, very frequently; extreme thirst, recurrent and stubborn infections, as well as cuts and grazes healing more slowly than is usual. Some sufferers don’t even notice their symptoms, or get none whatsoever.

The condition can also result in some more severe symptoms and complications, which can lead to serious issues with the eyes, feet and even the heart.

Although more widely associated with adults aged 40 and above, type 2 diabetes can can develop at any age. Diagnoses are becoming more well-known amongst children and young adults and this is often linked with there being a history of Type 2 diabetes in their family, as well as being inactive or overweight

Three key ways to reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes:

Get 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, five days a week – or any other way you prefer. If you’re used to exercising, you could try shorter bursts of more vigorous activity.

Moderate intensity fitness can be described as exercise that increases your heart rate and speeds up your breathing, but still allows you to hold a conversation. These include 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.

Great For Moderate Intensity Activities:

Activities That Are Useful For Vigorous Intensity Exercise Are:

Tips To Reduce Sedentary Behaviour:

  • Stand up while talking to people on the phone
  • Walk around while 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