Health & Fitness

Active Living – the Key to keep Diabetes at bay

Next time you are on your couch watching your favourite TV series, you may just be creating a perfect scene for Type 2 diabetes to set in. Sometime back, diabetes mellitus was considered to be a disease of genetic disposition but recent developments in the field have proved that poor lifestyle is a very important contributory factor.

A recent study presented at International Diabetes Federation Conference in Vancouver by Dr. Kalyan Kumar Gangopadhyay, consultant endocrinologist at Fortis Hospital Anandapur, concluded that exercise is recommended as one of the cornerstones of diabetes management worldwide. According to the study, 60% of the patients with diabetes did not exercise as per recommendation.

Being active does not necessarily refer to working out in the gym but any physical activity which involves working of muscles. Even when we perform regular activities like walking or washing utensils, our muscles use up glucose in the blood as energy. Simple changes in day to day life like walking on treadmill, cycling or just simply walking to and fro instead of sitting on the sofa to watch TV, taking stairs instead of lifts, dropping off a kilometer away from home and walking the rest on foot, all go a long way to use up glucose from our blood and also makes our muscles and joints more active.

Also for people who are in the clamps of diabetes mellitus, being physically active plays a very significant role in keeping sugar levels under check. Diabetes is a silent killer and slowly affects the functionalities of the other organs like heart, kidney, liver etc. Regular physical activity helps to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, helps in weight loss, and improves overall well-being of the diabetic individual.

The study also emphasized on the importance of physicians’ advice to patients on the importance of exercising. In cases where the patients were not informed about the importance of exercising, there were higher chances of the patients not being physically active.

Dr. Gangopadhyay mentions, “Leading an active life is of utmost importance in controlling glucose levels in the blood stream. Most people either lack the motivation to exercise or cannot manage their time so as to find time to do the same. It is our responsibility, as medical practitioners, to take the growing number of diabetics in the country more seriously and create widespread awareness about how one can avoid it.”

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