Your Health and Exercise

shutterstock_382697113Exercise can be beneficial for both the management and prevention of a number of conditions related to weight and lifestyle. If you are suffering from any health condition please seek the advice of your doctor or specialist before engaging in an exercise programme.

If you haven’t been used to regular exercise then please start slowly, you’ll also enjoy it more and stick with it longer! Regular exercise is defined as 30 minutes per day and it should be considered as extra to what you normally do during the day. Whether you choose using the gym or joining a fitness class one of the benefits of indoor exercise is that it doesn’t matter what the weather is doing outside. So your exercise doesn’t stop when the summer does.

Type 2 Diabetes.

5% of the UK population have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and a further 1.3% don’t know they have it yet. By 2035 it is estimated that 10% of the population will have the disease. Type 2 Diabetes, unlike Type 1, is predominantly lifestyle related with a big relationship to being overweight. People tend to present with the disease from middle-age onwards but an increasing number of young people, and even children, are now being diagnosed.

The disease occurs when you have too much glucose in your blood either because your body isn’t producing enough insulin to deal with it or your body can’t use the insulin properly. The long term damage caused by high glucose levels can include blindness, limb loss and organ failure. Complacency is not a good idea, even if you are diagnosed but not experiencing any typical diabetic symptoms. You need to remember that all that glucose is slowly working away at nerves and organs and the longer it goes on, the more damage it does.

So, if you have Type 2 Diabetes, managing your blood glucose level is very important. Ideally you want to reduce the level permanently. If you don’t have the disease, but you are in your 30s or 40s and you are overweight, you may want to think about losing weight to reduce your risk of developing it. Being fitter also helps with stroke and heart disease prevention and it can have beneficial effects on mental health

Regular exercise can help with Type 2 Diabetes in two ways. In combination with dieting, regular exercise will help you lose weight. Generally losing weight means that the insulin can work better in tackling the glucose, and that’s a longer term benefit if you can keep the weight off. Also, when you exercise, your muscles use glucose so your glucose levels come down.

webIn terms of what will benefit you most to start with you are probably better to begin with gentle aerobic exercise (e.g. walking on the treadmill or cycling on an exercise bike) rather than weight training. Using weights will benefit you eventually, as the more you use your muscles the more glucose you use. However, aerobic exercise is a gentler introduction to the world of fitness and it will help more with weight loss in the short term.

Treadmills, exercise bikes and rowing machines all have different settings so you can build your exercise benefit up. Don’t worry, our staff will show you how to use these machines and don’t worry about just walking on a treadmill, plenty of people do that. We’re all using gyms for different reasons and we’re all different shapes and sizes.

Ultimately you need to be aiming for a combination of aerobic, strength and flexibility (stretching exercises). Our staff will be happy to advise you as you go along. Although, if you haven’t been used to regular exercise then you will need to check with your doctor before starting, and our Gym Manager will ask you to do that before joining the gym.