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Exercise every day to keep type 2 diabetes at bay – AMA

Exercise every day to keep diabetes at bay - AMA - Featured Image

The Australian Medical Association is using National Diabetes Week as a springboard for encouraging a physically active lifestyle in all Australians.

Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes, with Type 2 accounting for 85% of diabetes sufferers. Around 280 people are diagnosed every day and the disease will become our number one burden of disease within the next five years.

However according to AMA President Professor Brian Owler, regular exercise can both prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes as well as help sufferers manage their condition.

“Research shows that exercising and eating well can prevent up to 58 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases, and it doesn’t have to be extreme or exhausting exercise.”

Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend people should be participating in at least 2.5 hours of moderate or 1.25 hours of vigorous physical activity every week.

The biggest gains are made by people who go from being sedentary to undertaking the recommended amounts of physical activity.

According to Professor Owler: “You don’t have to be an athlete to exercise, but it is important for everyone to undertake some form of physical activity every day.

“If people stay active and prevent weight gain, they can prevent Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

GPs can help patients determine the right amount of activity for each patient dependent on health, age and current fitness levels.

“Family doctors can explain the potential health benefits of physical activity and help people choose the best activities for their individual health profile and conditions,” Professor Owler said.

National Diabetes Week is from 12 – 18 July 2015.