Recommended exercise - Diabetes - Health

Positive health effects through regular exercise


Physical exercise helps you lose weight, improves blood sugar levels and also lowers your insulin requirements. That is why people with diabetes must control the effects on their blood sugar levels not only during sport but also when the physical strain in other areas of life changes. Diabetes is not an obstacle to sports, provided that diabetes therapy is adapted to him or her. It is therefore important that the person with diabetes is well trained. 


Which exercise recommendation should one follow?

The following recommendations according to the World Health Organisation apply to healthy adults and elderly people who have not been banned from sport by their doctor. Adherence to the recommendation supports health and strengthens the immune system. They are also important for people with chronic conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure or diabetes. Pregnant women and women immediately after giving birth as well as persons with specific health impairments, such as heart disease, should be particularly careful and seek medical advice before implementing the exercise recommendations.

To promote and maintain health:

  • 150 minutes of medium intensity exercise per week


  • 75 minutes of exercise per week with higher intensity


  • One combination of medium and higher intensity movements per week


  • on two or more days a week, muscle strengthening of the large muscle groups (thigh, chest, buttocks and broad back muscles)



  • Ideally the units are spread over several days of the week.
  • Each unit is at least ten minutes long.
  • The movement units can be combined and added up in many ways.
  • Distributing the movement units over several days reduces the risk of injury.
  • Elderly people who are no longer able to achieve these recommendations due to complaints should do as much exercise per week as their complaints allow.
  • Regular exercise maintains or improves balance and reduces the risk of falls.
  • Compared to other age groups, older people are least physically active in everyday life, which makes regular exercise all the more important.


For an additional health benefit:

  • 300 minutes of medium intensity exercise per week


  • 150 minutes of higher intensity exercise per week


  • One combination of medium and higher intensity exercise per week


General examples of movements of medium and higher intensity with which the movement recommendations can be achieved.

Exercise with medium intensity

  •  Fast walking
  • Gardening
  • Hiking
  • Nordic walking
  • Water gymnastics
  • Dancing

Exercise with higher intensity

  •  Jogging or running
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Cycling (19-25 km/h; about 3 min/km)
  • Mountain Hiking
  • Cardiovascular training on fitness equipment
  • Swimming


Health effects of regular physical activity of adults and elderly people in medium intensity exercise:

Reduced risk for     

  • Ischaemic heart diseases
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes mellitus type 2

Reduction of     

  • Blood lipids
  • Depression
  • Weight and/or abdominal fat

Improvement of

  • cognitive capacity
  • "Activities of Daily Life" (Elderly people)
  • Sleep quality


When do we speak of lack of exercise?

A lack of exercise is present when the weekly exercise recommendations are not achieved. In more sporting or medical terms, a lack of exercise occurs when the strain on the muscles is chronically below a certain threshold. If individual performance is to be maintained or increased, this threshold must be exceeded. Especially in industrialized countries, due to the rapid and constant development of technology over the last 100 years, lack of exercise is now considered a widespread disease or the number one cause of illness.

From a genetic point of view, man is a "walking animal", which is nowadays rather described as a chronic "sitter" and predominant "head worker". In the Stone Age, man still covered about 30-40km daily as a hunter and gatherer. Today the daily mileage has reached about 4km. Depending on the stride length, this distance corresponds to a number of approx. 6,000 steps per day, which serve to promote health. The recommendation of the World Health Organization is currently 10,000 steps per day to improve health in the long term and permanently. The inventions of technical work aids are taking more and more physical work off the shoulders of people. Cars, elevators and escalators help people reach their destination faster. As a result, the proportion of energy provided by physical activity has been reduced from 90% to less than 1%.

The one-sided way of life and passive leisure time behaviour (e.g. computers, smartphones) favour lack of movement. This is exacerbated by malnutrition, addictive behaviour (e.g. nicotine, alcohol), daily mental stress and increased head-oriented work. This comfort has its pitfalls, because evolution and our genetic make-up do not provide for a life without exercise. The head of sports medicine at the University of Mainz, Prof. Perikles Simon, has summarized this problem as follows:

"Man is actually built to travel very long distances. But modern life-style means that exercise is hardly part of our everyday lives."

Sufficient exercise is therefore an essential basis for our health!

In order to actively strengthen health, it is therefore not absolutely necessary to do competitive sports overnight. It is much more important to regularly integrate moderate exercise into (working) life and to automate important movement habits. The possibilities for this are described in the chapter "My movement tips for everyday life".


What is the current state of health of Germans?

For Germany, the researchers found unflattering data. Several surveys between 2002 and 2016 showed that an astonishing 42 percent of adults do too little exercise; including 40 percent of men and 44 percent of women.

In short: Germans move far too little in their daily lives.


Result on the state of health of Germans

Approximately half of the Austrian population exercised sufficiently according to the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (150 min per week).

  • Men were slightly more active (52%) than women (49%).
  • Every third person fulfilled the second criterion of the World Health Organisation (300 min per week) or performed activities to build up and strengthen muscles at least twice a week, men with 36% were slightly more active than women with 29%.
  • About a quarter of all persons fulfilled both criteria of the World Health Organization.


Tips for coordination, concentration and memory training

  1.  Use everyday routines such as brushing your teeth, combing your hair or pouring a drink and use the other hand once. This way, the simplest things become a challenge at the beginning. (coordination)
  2. When washing your hands or face, stand on a rolled up towel to sharpen your sense of balance. (coordination)
  3. Solve a different puzzle every day (crossword puzzles, number puzzles, picture puzzles, ...) (concentration)
  4. Change the sitting position more often if you sit for a longer period of time. In this way you can concentrate better and still keep moving and your joints remain supple. (concentration)
  5. Link names of people, or other things you can't remember, to items at home. Whenever you see the item, think of that person and the name until you remember it. In the beginning, small sticky notes will also help. (memory)
  6. Memorize 3-5 things in your environment (objects you see first, car brands passing by, colors of clothes of people passing by, ...) and repeat them at a later time. Do you also remember things from yesterday or even from last week? (memory)


Tips for cardio and strength training

  1. If they deliberately go shopping in the vicinity several times, then the shopping bags are not so heavy. Your back and legs will thank you for it.

  2. Use the stairs more often instead of the escalator or lift at your workplace, at stations or in shopping centres. That way your legs and bottom will stay and become crisp.

  3. Deliberately park your car a little further away from the door or entrance of shops or restaurants and enjoy walking the few extra steps instead of getting annoyed why the front row parking space is occupied at this particular time. This alone will lower your stress level and blood pressure and bring you much closer to the World Health Organization's daily walking target of 10,000 steps.

  4. Get off the bus regularly 1 or even 2 stops earlier when using public transport in the city. If you vary your pace on the subsequent walk, your legs will receive different training stimuli.

  5. Walk up and down or at least stand up while talking on the phone. If you use a pedometer, you will be amazed at how many steps you take during a 10-minute conversation, let alone an "hour-long" phone call. Unconscious actions such as stretching or gesticulating during the phone call will also stimulate the thinking process.

  6. Go personally to your conversation partner in the immediate vicinity (at home or at work) instead of writing a message (SMS, e-mail, ...) or calling. Misunderstandings in communication are avoided and immediately eliminated, which often saves time at work and does not strain the nerves at home.

  7. Try to reduce your daily sitting time from now on. If you only use public transport for short periods of time, standing will improve your sense of balance.

  8. Have nice conversations with a friend or acquaintance simply during a walk in nature. The well-being will increase alone through the changing environment in nature and the daily stress will be reduced faster.

Keep in mind that it can take at least 3 weeks up to three quarters of a year, depending on the person and age, until new and changed movement patterns in everyday life are automated.


Sports injuries - 4 basic rules for first aid

Why I find this topic important is because injuries are caused either by external violence or excessive physical exertion. For example, if a doctor sees a swollen ankle, he or she cannot determine whether the injury occurred during the practice of a sport or during an everyday activity. There are four basic rules for first aid for a sprained ankle and many other injuries.

1. cold application
In sports, icing sprays or ice bags are used as cooling applications. Because this is not readily available in every household, it helps to keep the injured part of the body under running cold water or to cover it with cold, damp compresses. The cold stimulus contracts the tissue capillaries. This prevents further blood from escaping into the tissue and prevents swelling. In addition, the application of cold soothes the pain receptors in the organs, which has a soothing and painkilling effect.

2. compression
A compression bandage should compress the injured tissue just enough to prevent further blood or tissue fluid from escaping into the surrounding tissue. It is therefore recommended that a compression bandage is always applied after injuries, if possible in combination with cold applications. In the ankle, the bony prominence of the ankle should be padded with a U-shaped insert made of foam or other soft material so that pressure is applied to the surrounding soft tissue instead of the bone.

3. High position
High position is a position in which the injured body part is positioned higher than the heart. The elevated position of the body part facilitates the venous return flow of blood to the heart. The stored fluid can thus be better absorbed into the bloodstream and the swelling can be reduced or even eliminated.

4. immobilization
Immobilization is the oldest and most important treatment principle in medicine, which is used for practically all diseases. A compression bandage and elevation of the person's body also causes the injured part of the body to be immobilised. The fast and consistent immobilization prevents the injury from worsening.


You can find this and other articles as guides for download as PDF.
Ing. Ronald Ertl, Akad. Body Vitaltrainer, Personal Fitness Trainer and the MED TRUST Team