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Monday 14th November is WORLD DIABETES DAY.


Someone is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes and being diagnosed early is so crucial for all types of diabetes. It can save lives, prevent a medical emergency, and reduce the risk of life-changing complications later.



What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious condition where your blood glucose level is too high. It can happen when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces isn’t effective. Or, when your body can’t produce any insulin at all.


Types of Diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

When you’ve got type 1 diabetes, you can’t make any insulin at all.

If you’ve got type 2 diabetes, it’s a bit different. The insulin you make either can’t work effectively, or you can’t produce enough of it. They are different conditions, but they are both serious.


Other types of diabetes include gestational diabetes, which some women may go on to develop during pregnancy. And there are many other rarer types of diabetes such as type 3c and Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) too.


In all types of diabetes, glucose can’t get into your cells properly, so it begins to build up in your blood. And too much glucose in your blood causes a lot of different problems. To begin with, it leads to diabetes symptoms:

  • Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night
  • Being really thirsty
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Genital itching or thrush
  • Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
  • Blurred vision

If you don’t have diabetes, your pancreas senses when glucose has entered your bloodstream and releases the right amount of insulin, so the glucose can get into your cells. But if you have diabetes, this system doesn’t work.


Diabetes and exercise

Being physically active is good for diabetes. Whether you feel able to go for a run or a swim, or can manage some arm stretches or on-the-spot walking while the kettle boils, it all makes a difference.


Benefits of exercising for diabetes

There are many benefits of being active when you have type 1, type 2 or other types of diabetes. Moving more can:

  • help the body use insulin better by increasing insulin sensitivity 
  • help you look after your blood pressure because high blood pressure means you’re more at risk of diabetes complications 
  • help to improve cholesterol (blood fats) to help protect against problems like heart disease  
  • help you lose weight if you need to, and keep the weight off after you’ve lost it 
  • give you energy and help you sleep 
  • help your joints and flexibility 
  • help your mind as well as your body – exercise releases endorphins, which you could think of as happy hormones. Being active is proven to reduce stress levels and improve low mood.   
  • help people with type 2 diabetes improve their HbA1c. In some cases, this can help people with the condition go into remission.  



There’s no question that physical activity is an essential part of diabetes treatment.

But deciding how to exercise is a challenge for many people, particularly those who are obese or have other conditions that may limit certain exercise choices. Even once you’ve chosen how to exercise, it can be difficult for many people to stick to a routine, particularly if you aren’t part of a structured exercise program.


That’s where Nordic Walking comes in!


All Diabetes Associations around the world recommend moderate cardio and resistance training exercises to decrease blood sugar effectively.

With Nordic Walking, you have both moderate cardio and resistance training in ONE convenient activity. And you can really work at an intensity which suits you.


Recent research indicates that Nordic Walking offers significant benefits for Diabetics such as improved muscle strength and aerobic capacity. On top of that, people appeared more motivated to stick with Nordic walking than regular walking. The studies found that:

  • Nordic walking can have a beneficial health effect on risk factors for the diabetes
  • It can be introduced as a low-cost means of exercise that promotes weight loss and health-related quality of life in people living with the condition
  • It can lead to weight loss and a greater capacity for exercise amongst overwieght people with type 2 diabetes,
  • Supervised rather than unsupervised Nordic walking is more likely to provide sufficiently intense exercise for a significantly beneficial health effect on cardiovascular risk factors, especially in individuals with less good blood sugar control


So why not join Nordic Walking Watford and see how our Nordic Walking training and regular supervised group fitness walks can help keep you healthy?





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