During my years in practice I have been commonly asked “What are the best exercises to: lose weight, manage my diabetes, manage my heart condition…” So I’ve put together my top tips based on experience and the most up to date research from the Exercise and Sports Science Association of Australia and here they are: Weight Loss
  • Frequency: A minimum of 5-6 days per week
  • Intensity: Moderate (75% of your maximum heart rate) or a self rated exertion level of 7/10
  • Time: Minimum of 60mins per session or a weekly total of 420minutes or more, until you reach your goal weight (progress to maintenance/general health program)
  • Type: more than 300mins of aerobic or cardiovascular (cardio) exercise. Eg. Running/very brisk walking, cycling, swimming, exercise classes, up to 120mins of strength exercises
Tips:
  • A maximum of 24hours break between sessions is allowed – don’t rest all weekend or your metabolism will slow down and undo your hard work.
  • If you are on an energy restricted diet you should speak with an Exercise Physiologist for specific recommendations for safe exercise.
General Health/Maintenance Frequency: A minimum of 3-4 days per week Intensity: Mild to Moderate (65-75% of maximum heart rate) or a self rated exertion level of 6/10 Time: 30mins per day or a weekly total of 210minutes/week Type: Combination of aerobic and strength exercises Tips: As we have become more sedentary at work and in our every day lives, you may need to adjust and perform additional exercise (more than 30mins per day or 210mins/week) to maintain a healthy weight. Diabetes If your diabetes is well managed and you are within a healthy weight range follow these recommendations. If you are above the healthy weight you should follow the weight loss recommendations with guidance from your Doctor and an Exercise Physiologist.
  • Frequency: A minimum of 3-4 days per week
  • Intensity: Mild to Moderate (65-75% of maximum heart rate) or a self rated exertion level of 6/10
  • Time: 30mins per day or a weekly total of 210minutes/week
  • Type: Combination of aerobic (125-150mins/week) and strength exercises (60mins/week
Tips:
  • A maximum of 72hours max break between sessions will ensure you maintain blood glucose control.
  • There was no difference in the blood glucose levels of people who exercise 30mins daily and those who exercise 60mins every second day
  • There was no evidence of better blood glucose management in those who performed high intensity exercise over moderate intensity exercise, but those who did high intensity were fitter
  • You should wait to exercise 60-90mins after eating if you take insulin to reduce the chance of a hypoglycaemic event
Overall Advice: This advice will assist most people to achieve their goals, however everyone is a little different and may require different amounts and intensity of exercise than what is recommended. The most important tip I have is to persist, persist, persist. Even if you have a bad day or week, shake it off and get back into your exercise plan as soon as you can. To help you stick with it:
  • Choose exercise activities that suit your interests and that you find enjoyable
  • Find a time to exercise that suits your lifestyle and can be become part of your daily routine
  • Research shows you will achieve better results and stay committed if you engage in supervised exercise (with a Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer, coach or gym class) compared with going it alone. Even exercising with a friend can make a difference.
  • If you have a medical condition or injury you should seek advice from a trained medical professional (your Doctor/Specialist, Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist) before commencing any exercise program
  • If you take medications you may need to time your exercise sessions to avoid adverse effects (eg. for cholesterol management you may need to time your exercise sessions to avoid dizzy spells). Your medical professional or pharmacist can provide advice on medications and exercise.
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