Benefits of Exercise for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Management


Type 2 Diabetes is characterized by a reduction in insulin production and the inability of the body to respond to insulin. Over 1 million Australians have been diagnosed with it and the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes increases with age, although sadly Australia is beginning to see a rise in the number of adolescents and children who are being affected by it. Diabetes is known as the invisible disease as it cannot be seen if anyone has it and therefore the health effects of it are often underestimated and failure to manage and treat this condition ongoing can lead to a higher risk of;

  • Heart attacks and strokes
  • Blindness
  • Kidney damage
  • Amputations 

Type 2 Diabetes is considered a lifestyle disease; due to its onset being the result of a poor diet and a lack of physical activity. Other causes of Type 2 Diabetes includes age, obesity, a history of gestational diabetes and some may be predisposed to it through genetics. Diabetes cannot be cured, however it can be managed by improving the same factors which contributed to its cause (Diet and Physical activity) and in turn prevent the above mentioned health complications. Those with Type 2 Diabetes are encouraged to perform regular physical activity including a combination of resistance and aerobic training. Resistance training has been found to be especially helpful for those with Type 2 Diabetes as it increases insulin receptor sensitivity and as your strength increases, the ability of your muscles to store glucose increases meaning your body is better able to regulate its blood sugar levels.  Aerobic exercise is recommended in conjunction with this for added benefits.

More benefits of exercise;

  • Reducing your risk of heart disease
  • Helps to control blood pressure
  • Increasing your levels of good cholesterol and reducing bad cholesterol levels
  • Improving bone density
  • Preventing loss of muscle mass due to age

The 10th to the 14th of July is National Diabetes Awareness Week, if you or someone you know has Diabetes or is at risk of developing it, please come and speak to our Exercise Physiologists to discuss how the condition can be better managed with exercise and lifestyle modifications


Durstine, J.L. (2009). ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities. Human Kinetics, pg 182-184.

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