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There are two types of diabetes that normally affects people. The first one is type 1 diabetes and is the most common especially among the young generation. This is caused by inability of the body to produce enough insulin. The second one is type 2 diabetes which is the main focus of this research paper, and is most prevalent among the older population. However in the recent past, more cases are being recorded for type 2 diabetes among the young -adolescents. It is characterized by not only lack of enough insulin production, but also insulin resistance. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the adolescents has been further increased by the changing lifestyles. In the recent years, there has been a significant rise in consumption of fast foods. This has led to prevalence of obesity and thus the body requires higher amounts of insulin in offsetting the body demands for complete use of food for energy.
However, more complications have resulted due to decreased physical activities. In this era of Information technology, people have retreated to playing internet games and watching television as their means of spending time unlike in the past. Hence, the rapidly changing lifestyle to physical inactivity counts a lot. Mag (2000). states that insulin resistance may also be induced by natural phenomenon such as pregnancy. Mostly type 2 diabetic patients are not treated by exogenous administration of insulin as it is mostly caused by obesity and physical inactivity. Although the genetic factor of the family counts, it counts to a little percentage. NAME states that eight percent of type 2 diabetic patients are obese land the disease may prevail for a long time without being noticed. For instance, Mag (2000) notes that in a study conducted by Mokdad from 1991to 1998 in the U.S., reported cases of obesity had gradually increased regardless of gender, race, sex, level of education, age, and the smoking of individuals. It was further found out that the percentage rate of increase in the same period ranged from 12.0% to 17.9%.
Type 2 diabetes and exercise
Consequently, the hyperglycemic conditions of type 2 diabetes bring about micro- and macro- vascular complications especially to key organs of the body -kidneys, eyes and heart. Persons with type 2 diabetes are more predisposed in developing cardiovascular diseases than those without. They mostly posses quite number of cardiovascular diseases risk factors and such include, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia (-increased serum triglycerides and low contents of high density lipoprotein). However, a lot of regular exercises have been found to significantly reduce the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases through physiological and metabolic mechanisms (Mag, 2000).The health benefits accumulate proportionally to the intensity of the physical activity. NAME states that a remarkable dose-response relationship between the intensity of exercise and the improvements in the risk factors of cardiac diseases.
Physical Exercises in the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes to in persons at risk
Appropriate life interventions -physical activity and weigh loss- can possibly prevent and / or delay development of type 2 diabetes. Mag (2000) documents that certain life intervention study which was carried out on type 2 diabetes risk group. The life intervention program consisted of a weekly physical activity of at least 150 minutes and 7% loss in body weight. At the end of the study, the incidence of developing diabetes was found to decrease by at least 58% regardless of gender, race and age group. Besides, the study group demonstrated a significant decrease in glycosalated hemoglobin and they also found that during the three year treat period, one in every seven persons was prevented from developing the disease and its complications.
Physical exercises and Insulin Resistance
Regular physical activities have been found to have long term effects on the insulin sensitivity of the in a diabetic person. They improves and brings to normal levels both the insulin response and sensitivity for normal glucose utility in the body. Physical exercises compel the body to use excess glucose for muscular activity. These results in reduced plasma glucose levels and the conditions may prevail for a certain period of time if the physical exercises are continual. It has been found that sufficient time as well as intensity of the physical activities leads to prevention and/ or correction of physiological and biochemical changes of the body that is mostly common in sedentary life.
Physical activities deplete the body of its excess glycogen stores and thus increase insulin sensitivity. It does so by compensating the amounts of lost glycogen during the muscular activities. Therefore type 2 diabetic patients improve drastically the metabolic activity of their bodies (Ivy, 1997). According to Henriksen (2002) both acute and continual physical activities leads to improvement of insulin-initiated glucose metabolism especially in type 2 diabetic patients. Further studies by Segal et al. (1991) shows that constant exercise of can largely improve body metabolic activity in spite of weight reduction as earlier stated. Zierath and Henriksson H (1992) states that these recorded improvements in metabolic activity can be attributed to a decreased rate in peripheral insulin resistance and/or increased insulin sensitivity that accompany physical exercises. In addition to physical activity, it has been observed that persons who maintain lean muscle and fat mass, experiences an increase in insulin resistance. Regular physical activities, in terms of time and intensity, results in reduced basal and glucose initiated insulin concentration in the circulatory system. Further, 26 states that there are significant increases in insulin-stimulated glucose consumption rates upon physical training.
Exercise and Dyslipidaemia
Continual physical activities are normally associated with remarkable effects on glucose control, contents of blood lipids, and functions of the heart and lung. Zierath and Henriksson H (1992) in thair work found that the effects of physical exercises draw a parallel with age of a person, whereas levels of lipid in the blood are dependent upon the body weight. Thompson et al. (quoted by Mag, 2000) documented that following sufficient physical exercise, triglyceride levels reduces within 18-24 hours and this condition is steady to induction of changes in metabolic activity which may persist for up to three days. Besides, they also found physical exercises to drastically increase the High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Thus, this parallel increase in High Density Cholesterol versus a reduction in triglyceride levels can be interlinked to the same metabolic activity. Mag, 2000 states that Low Density Lipoprotein levels decreases by at least 5-8% in persons with high level cholesterol content after physical exercises.
Physical Exercises and Endothelial Dysfunction
Research study has found out that to significantly decrease cardiovascular risk factors especially in type 2 diabetic patients. 17 in his research study on type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients found out that physical exercises rectifies metabolism besides the endothelial dysfunction factors such as thrombomodulin, vWF and PAI-1. Therefore it is possible that improvements in endothelial dysfunction factors may be correlated to the protection accorded by physical exercises on the endothelium.
Stewart (2002) writes that the coexistence of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure is particularly damaging to the soundness of the vascular system. He states that most of the studies on the effects of physical exercises have been concentrated on reduction of regulation of glucose content and hypertension. Thus he further states that there is little known about the impact of physical exercises on cardiovascular consequences of type 2 diabetes 0on and hypertension. In the documented work of Stewart (2000), it is stated that,
“Type 2 diabetes and hypertension result in abnormalities in central and peripheral parameters of cardiovascular structure and function. Evidence for an exercise training benefit is strongest for improvements in endothelial vasodilator function and left ventricular diastolic function. The data for exercise training’s improvement of arterial stiffness and system inflammation and reduction of left ventricular mass are less robust. However, this assertion is based more on a lack of randomized controlled trials rather than data to the contrary. Exercise training also reduces total and abdominal fat. These changes in body composition mediate improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood pressure and may improve endothelial vasodilator function. The current evidence, albeit not fully confirmed in randomized trials, suggests that the benefits of exercise training go beyond the recognized benefits of glycemic control and blood pressure reduction.”
Therefore, with the current trend of type 2 diabetes, it is imperative to stress the need of physically active lifestyle although it is a big challenge with advancement of technology. Programs of physical activity can be successfully implemented in school programs and at home especially for children/adolescents (Carrier L & Herbert L, 2004).
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