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Exercise Prescription for Diseased Population of Introduction Exercise is as important as medication and other forms of therapy for diabetics. Hence, health care professionals should include an exercise plan for their patients. In fact, exercise, when aligned with the conditions and needs of a diabetic, is a rather effective medicine for a weak or ailing heart. This paper explores the recommended exercise prescription for middle-aged patients of gradually developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by lack of activity and excess weight. According to the American Heart Association, a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training is ideal for type 2 diabetes patient (Harvard Medical School, 2006). Exercise plan is ideal for patients with this condition provided they do not fall in the following scenarios, which make them at risk of aggravating cardiovascular diseases. First, they should not be older than 35 years and should not have suffered from type 2 diabetes for more than 10 years. There should be no other risk factors for coronary artery disease. The patients should not have proliferative retinopathy or nephropathy microvascular disease such as microalbuminuria, peripheral vascular disease or autonomic neuropathy.
Exercise Prescription for Type II Diabetics Aged Below 35 Years
Scientific research has produced enough supportive evidence that a gradual drop in fitness and muscle mass and strength in diabetics could be reversed through regular and moderate exercises. It has also been established that lack of physical activity results in the decrease in insulin sensitivity in middle-aged type II diabetics. Noticeably, physical inactivity is more widespread in populations at risk of contracting type II diabetes. Middle-aged patients have been targeted in many recent studies on the effects of regular and moderate exercise on diabetics. Hence, mild and regular exercise is highly recommended for middle-aged type 2 diabetics (American Diabetes Association, 2007).
According to the American Heart Association, the two-pronged exercise for middle-aged type II diabetics should involve swimming and walking, which are aerobic activities associated with the strengthening of muscles, lungs and the heart. Walking and swimming controls diabetics’ blood pressure and sugar besides making their arteries flexible. The other effect of aerobics is weight loss and shedding of excess body fat (American Diabetes Association, 2007). Through their effects on responses to insulin, swimming and walking helps improve the health of a type II diabetic.
The recommended exercise include walking and other moderately intense exercises that run for seven days a week. These exercises should accumulate to about 150 minutes a week. Walking can be alternated with jogging and other vigorous 3-days per week exercises, totaling 90 minutes per week. The other exercise option for type II diabetics is weight lifting, undertaken for three days a week. A pre-exercise test is highly recommended prior to the commencement of exercise, especially if the patient has a history of heart disease, peripheral artery disease, or other cardiovascular conditions. In addition, past sedentary life may necessitate pre-exercise stress testing. In addition, patients with occasional chest pains or unexplained shortness of breath should not be allowed to engage in vigorous exercises. Pre-exercise stress test is also recommended for patients who have had diabetes for more than 10 years (American Diabetes Association, 2007).
The exercise should be started slowly, with activities such as walking, swimming and cycling, which are low-impact. This trend should then be gradually increased. Type II diabetics should also exercise one or two hours after a meal, checking their blood sugar levels in the process The (Harvard Medical School, 2006). This practice helps in the checking of exercise limits for each patient. To avoid blisters, the shoes should fit well in addition to avoiding exercises that may cause blisters and ulcers or fractures (American Diabetes Association, 2007). Exercising diabetics should also wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace, for emergency help in case of an incident or accident.
The chart below entails the activities that a type 2 diabetic may follow in exercising.
Walk at lunchtime
Sit-ups and leg lifts
Push-ups and sit-ups
Stretch class
Walk in park
Walk home from work
Wash car, walk to buy grocery
Time of the day
Just before dinner
Before bed
Noon or 1pm
Duration (Minutes)
10 for each
10 for each exercise
Total 30
American Diabetes Association (2007). “ Diabetes Mellitus and Exercise.” Diabetes Care, 25(2), 256. Retrieved on July 23, 2014 from http://care. diabetesjournals. org/content/25/suppl_1/s64. full
The Harvard Medical School (2006). “ Exercise Prescription for Diabetes.” Harvard Medical School. Retrieved on July 23, 2014 from http://www. health. harvard. edu/fhg/updates/exercise-prescription-for-diabetes. shtml

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