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January 7, 2013

Delay Aging in Diabetes With Exercise

delay aging diabetesIs it Possible to Delay Aging in Diabetics?

A recent study suggests that exercise may delay aging in type 2 diabetics through improvement in fitness. Diabetes represents an accelerated form of aging.  The accelerated aging in diabetes is the result of glycation, increased inflammation, and increased oxidative stress that diabetes causes.

Diabetics have lower fitness levels than non-diabetics. Lower fitness is associated with lower quality of life.

Healthy adults lose about 10 percent of their fitness per decade after age 40 to 50. But, the loss of fitness with aging is higher in patients with type 2 diabetes. Fitness levels in type 2 diabetics are 20 percent lower than non-diabetics.  The good news is that regular exercise can prevent some of that additional decline in fitness and delay aging. Regular exercise improves fitness 40% in diabetics.

Though exercise is beneficial it will not restore a diabetic’s fitness level to that of a healthy non-diabetic. That’s one reason why it is best not develop type 2 diabetes in the first place.

Best Exercises to Delay Aging in Diabetics

What are the best exercises to delay aging in diabetics?  Most of the research on diabetes and exercise has focused on aerobic or cardiovascular exercises. However, there is growing evidence that resistance or strength training, and high intensity interval training may do a better job in improving fitness in diabetics and better delay aging.

Type 2 diabetes, to some degree, is a muscle disorder as muscle contains a rich supply of insulin receptors.  By building muscle diabetics are essentially building more insulin receptors and that improves glucose control. Resistance training is best for building muscle.

High intensity interval training stimulates the body to produce growth hormone and testosterone making it easier to build and maintain muscle.  Aerobic exercise does not do this, but it does improve the sensitivity of existing insulin receptors. High intensity interval training leads to better improvement in VO2max, the ultimate indicator of cardiovascular health.

Delay Aging Now in Diabetics

Every diabetic should be encouraged to exercise and become more physically active in general. Before starting an exercise program type 2 diabetics should be evaluated by the their physician. An exercise treadmill test can be very helpful in establishing a baseline level of fitness while evaluating for the potential for any existing heart disease.

See related articles.

Live Longer: Avoid Diabetes

High Intensity Interval Training: Short And Sweet

How High Blood Sugar Causes Vascular Disease

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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