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Physical Activity To Control Diabetes

To treat type 2 diabetes mellitus, it is essential to associate a specific diet with a reduced sugar content with a specific pharmacological therapy (if prescribed by the doctor). Still, regular physical activity is also essential to gain health despite the disease. Proper physical exercise can help control and improve diabetes; some studies show that adopting a healthy lifestyle can also lead to the remission of the disease. We propose, below, five functional muscle-strengthening exercises that can help you keep your diabetes under control.

Physical Activity For Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

To improve the course of type 2 diabetes, it is necessary to associate the specific diet with training which includes at least 150 minutes of combined physical activity per week ( aerobic physical exercises, such as walking, running, cycling, alternating with anaerobic or counter-resistance exercises, carried out bodyweight or using small weights or elastic bands).

In particular, weight training ( resistance training ) greatly benefits musculoskeletal well-being and metabolism, improving control of insulin sensitivity and blood sugar (blood sugar levels). The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that those who need significant weight loss can even practice 420 minutes a week of combined physical activity. Weight loss directly correlates with optimizing the glycemic and metabolic profile in people suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus.

  1. In summary, which training is more effective against diabetes?
  2. It is good to include aerobic and anaerobic exercises in your training plan to improve muscle tone. Furthermore, it is essential to be active daily (e.g., walking or cycling, parking far from your destination, taking the stairs instead of the lift, etc.), trying to get to about 10,000 steps a day.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Training

Before starting the following exercises, a sports medical examination is advisable. It is always advisable to be followed by motor activity professionals (graduates in Motor Sciences and Preventive and Adapted Motor Activity Techniques), especially if you are a beginner or resume physical activity after a long time of a sedentary life, to avoid musculoskeletal damage and other complications.

  1. The training proposed below, designed for non-beginners, will be optimal if performed three times a week.
  2. Before starting the exercises, and once the session is over, it is advisable to perform a total body warm-up (warm up all the muscles of the body wall), initially carrying out 5-10 minutes of joint mobility activities and concluding with 5-10 minutes of stretching.
  3. Attention: the intensity of the effort and the loads used in the exercises must follow a progressive increase over time and always be proportional to the physical form and level of training of each one. It is therefore recommended to start gradually* with lower intensity exercises, increasing the musculoskeletal system load progressively to avoid injuries (e.g., back pain ).
  4. By “gradually,” we mean that the exercises proposed below can be carried out initially even without knowing how to reach the indicated position, which you will be able to complete over time with constant training.

Training – Circuit Exercises

After you warm up, grab a mat and a stopwatch. Perform three series (then three rounds) of the exercises listed below, providing 30 seconds of movement and a 1-minute recovery between workouts. Instead, recover 2 minutes between one series and another. If you can’t reach the location indicated by the figure, try to get as close to it as possible. If you can’t repeat the exercise for 30 seconds, repeat it for as long as you can: slowly, you’ll acquire greater strength and skill by doing this workout consistently three times a week. Don’t be discouraged!


Lie on your stomach, bring your legs together and plant your feet on the floor. He places his arms shoulder-width apart, rests on his forearms, and pushes off the ground vigorously (shoulder blade push). Hold the position and try to stabilize your body by constantly contracting your buttocks and abdomen, do not arch your back (the position should correspond to a straight line starting from your heels, passing through your buttocks, and reaching your head). Keep your feet, elbows, forearms, and hands the only contact points on the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds.

Common Errors And Fixes :

  1. If the exercise is too intense, you tend to bring your buttocks higher than your shoulders, arching your body: rest your knees on the ground to keep your torso straight, remembering to keep contracting your buttocks

To simplify the exercise: Rest your knees on the ground and continue to contract your buttocks as much as possible. Take a 1-minute break before the next exercise.

Standing And Sitting From The Chair Or Squat

From a standing position, place your feet shoulder-width apart, extend your arms in front of you and push your buttocks out. Inhale and block the air in the abdomen, which must remain firm and firm for the entire exercise duration. Begin the descent sitting on the chair, keeping your torso straight. Once seated, exhale as you push back to the starting position. You should feel the push in the center of your foot throughout the kick. It would be optimal to perform the ascent in 2 seconds and the descent in another 2 seconds. Perform the exercise for 30 seconds.

Common Errors And Fixes :

  1. a Heel that rises when the descent begins: spread the legs more apart.
  2. Knees that go in on the way up when you stand up; think about pushing your knees out.
  3. Kyphosis (hump) that forms in the lumbar: keep your chest up and think you have the neck of a giraffe.

To Intensify The Exercise:

Perform the same movement without the support of the chair. You can also choose a weight (e.g water bottle) to hold at arm’s length when you get off or sit down. Take a 1-minute break before the next exercise.

Free Body Bridge

Lie face up, bend your knees, bring your feet towards your buttocks, and keep them resting firmly on the ground. She places her hands along her sides, bringing her buttocks up as you contract them. If the exercise is too strenuous, extend your arms in support for more excellent stability. The idea is to make the ascent in 2 seconds and the descent in another 2 seconds. Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.

To Intensify The Exercise:

Perform the same exercise with one leg at a time (single-leg bridge ).

Common Mistakes and Fixes:

The poor upward extension of the pelvis and poor glute activation. In these cases, focus the push on the heel and maximize the contraction of the glutes as you reach your greatest pushup. Take a 1-minute break before the next exercise.

Alternating Superman Hold

Inhaling, he extends his right arm and left leg and keeps his gaze on the ground. Exhaling, he returns to the starting position. He performs the same movement with his left arm and right leg, always returning with his forehead to the ground. The idea would be to take 2 seconds for the ascent and 2 seconds for the descent. Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.

Common Errors And Fixes:

  1. Making too much force with the limbs resting on the ground: the power of contraction must derive from the limbs performing the extension.
  2. Excessive extension of the neck looking upwards: the gaze must be straight toward the floor, focusing on the movement of the arm and not on the channel.
  3. Excessive back extension: arching your back too much will cause a decrease in the contraction of the buttocks; try to keep the abdomen contracted to avoid excessive arching of the back. Take a 1-minute break before the next exercise.


Lie on your stomach with your hands shoulder-width apart and your thumbs on your nipples. Flex your legs and create a 90° angle at the knee, keeping your knees flat on the ground. He inhales forcefully, pushing himself off the ground by leveraging his hands and knees. During the push, exhale and keep the buttocks contracted in line with the trunk. Return to the starting position when your arms are straight, control the descent, and inhale. The ideal would be to take 1 second for the push and 2 seconds for the drop. Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.

To Simplify The Exercise:

Put a lift under your hands: the higher it is, the easier it will be to perform the push up. This exercise is also suitable for people over 65.

To Intensify The Exercise:

Perform push ups with straight legs and feet together instead of leaning on your knees.

Common Mistakes And Fixes:

Hands too far apart, elbows are opening outward during the push, chest not touching the ground, buttocks pushing up to reduce weight. In these cases, try to keep the elbows closed, in contact with the torso, and the buttocks constantly contracted, and think about pivoting on the knee.

Do 2 minutes of recovery and start the whole series of exercises twice (3 in total). Finish the circuit with 40 minutes of brisk walking or 20 minutes of continuous jogging at moderate intensity. This exercise is used to improve cardiac and respiratory responses.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Diet

If you have type 2 diabetes, you should consult an endocrinologist, as he will be able to assign you a specific diet that takes into account your characteristics and your medical history. In general, with diabetes, it is advisable to monitor the consumption of simple sugars and fats, prefer foods with a low glycemic index, increase the consumption of fibers and avoid skipping meals, equally dividing the proportion of carbohydrates in the feasts of the whole day. We remind you that Grana Padano DOP is naturally free from milk sugar. 

Therefore, it can be consumed in peace – in the right quantities and frequencies – by lactose intolerant and diabetics. Furthermore, it is the cheese which, among all those commonly consumed, provides the most significant amount of calcium, contains many proteins with a high biological value (including the nine essential and branched amino acids, beneficial for physical activity ).

But also vitamins of group B and antioxidants such as vitamin A, zinc and selenium. You can also use grated Grana Padano DOP daily to flavor first courses, soups, and vegetable purées instead of salt. Finally, here you can find all the nutritional guidelines for type 2 diabetes mellitus, foods generally not permitted, those to be consumed in moderation, and those approved and recommended in the presence of the disease.

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