Diabetes type 2 is when the level of sugar in the blood is too high.
It occurs in people whose bodies don’t produce enough insulin, or whose cells don’t react to insulin.
Insulin is needed to control glucose in the blood and ensure it enters the cells to be burned into energy.
Without insulin, too much sugar stays in the bloodstream, which can lead to heart disease and strokes, nerve damage, foot problems, vision loss and blindness and kidney problems.
However, complications can be prevented by taking medication and making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and keeping active.
Maintaining a healthy body weight can also prevent people from developing diabetes type 2 in the first place, as overweight people are more at risk.
“Spending less time sitting down and more time being active is key to preventing type 2 diabetes,” said Diabetes UK.
So what’s the best way to keep active and how much exercise should you get?
Types of exercise
Anything from an activity class, to sports, to just doing more around the house can help you to become more active.
Diabetes UK recommends walking, cycling, swimming as forms of moderate exercise, and running, sports and fitness classes as forms of vigorous exercise.
Heavy gardening, carrying groceries and yoga can also help improve muscle strength.
Little things like taking the stairs instead of the lift or getting off the bus one stop earlier can also make a difference.
How much exercise?
Diabetes UK advises doing 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week, or 15 minutes of vigorous activity, five days a week.
Activities which improve muscle strength are also recommended for at least two days a week.
Breaking the time into smaller chunks and building up to these amounts gradually can help you ease into it.
“Walking can be a great way to start and it’s something you can build into your everyday routine – it’s also free,” said Diabetes UK.
“Moving more each day will help you lose weight and help to maintain a healthy weight.”
“Even moving a little more makes a big difference.”