Going beyond diet and medication
That exercise can help control diabetes is a no-brainer. It helps you burn unwanted calories and lose weight. Says Dr Anoop Misra, endocrinologist and chairman, Fortis C-DOC Hospital, New Delhi, “Physical activity increases the rate at which glucose in the blood is taken up by the muscle cells. This happens as the efficiency of cellular transport vehicle for glucose (GLUT-4) increases, in turn improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood glucose.” Experts recommend a combination of cardio and strength training for best results. “An hour of exercise daily—including 30 minutes of aerobic exercises or other cardio workouts such as burpees, jump rope, 15 minutes of walking and around 10 to 15 minutes of resistance training, incorporated through the day—is ideal,” adds Misra.
Latest research findings have shed light on the effects of sleep—or a lack of it—on weight gain and blood sugar control. Data shows that obesity is most common among those getting less than six hours of sleep a night. Other studies point to a possible link between inadequate or poor quality sleep to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Chronic grinding stress can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, especially if you’re genetically susceptible. Why? Because when your body is under stress, it releases glucose (sugar). A healthy pancreas recognizes this rise in sugar and secretes insulin in response. But in a person with diabetes, it is unable to do so. Also the stress hormone cortisol triggers cravings for high-fat, high-sugar comfort foods, expanding your waistline.