Tips for helping people with diabetes, physical limitations become more active

August 15, 2021

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Kempis K. T09. Presented at: ADCES21; 12-15 August 2021 (virtual meeting).

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Kempis does not report any relevant financial information.

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Diabetes care and education experts, even with no physical therapy training, can help a person with diabetes and physical disabilities increase their activity and improve physical functioning, a spokesman said.

“This is just as important as what we do in areas like eating a healthy diet, monitoring or taking medication.” Karen Kemmis, PT, RN, DPT, MS, GCS, CDCES, FADCES, Head of the education team at the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at SUNY Upstate Medical University, said Healio. “Helping a person function and move around better in everyday activities can have a positive impact on their life.”

Kempis is a Head of the education team at the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

People with diabetes and other chronic cardiometabolic disorders, including obesity, may have difficulty getting up from a chair, climbing stairs, crouching, kneeling, and grasping, which affects their ability to bathe and dress, do housework, and participate can restrict leisure activities and sports. among other activities.

According to Kemmis, four key conditions often lead to physical limitations. Limited range of motion may be due to adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder or hip, or stiffness of the hands or other joints. Pain can be the result of osteoarthritis and is aggravated by being overweight. Decreased strength can contribute to and result from both pain and decreased range of motion. A balance disorder can be due to decreased vision and sensory proprioception – common diabetes comorbidities – as well as decreased strength.

Evaluate limits

During her talk, Kemmis outlined steps for examining a person with diabetes and assessing their limitations with a view to developing a personalized exercise program.

“Asking a few questions and watching a person move can be a great insight into challenges and physical limitations,” Kemmis told Healio. “This can help diabetes care and education specialists develop an exercise and exercise plan that can be incredibly beneficial to the person’s exercise and life.”

First, ask about restricted mobility and pain: When and how did restrictions begin? Who else is aware of this? Has the condition been diagnosed and treated? What helps or hurts?

Then watch the person move through a series of upper body, lower body, and balance maneuvers, such as:

Options for increasing physical activity

Referral to physical or occupational therapy may be appropriate for people with limited range of motion, pain, and balance disorders, Kemmis said. She also recommended that both aerobic and strength training be included in a personalized exercise program.

Aerobic activities can include walking, cycling, swimming, or interval training of moderate to intense intensity for at least 150 minutes per week, spread over 3 to 7 days per week, with no more than 2 days of rest between training days.

Strength training with eight to ten exercises – such as with weight machines or free weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises – should be done every other day, starting at moderate intensity and progressing as weight or resistance increases, then increased number of sets and increased frequency.

Children with diabetes should engage in moderate to vigorous aerobic activity for at least one hour a day and vigorous muscle and bone strengthening activities at least 3 days per week.

Older adults can practice yoga or tai chi two to three times a week to improve flexibility and balance.

Someone with movement problems can be helped with yoga and tai chi, as well as resistance training, which requires moving through the full range of motion. Tai chi and yoga, stationary cycling, and swimming can relieve the joints in people with pain.

Kemmis recommended the NIDDK website Staying Active at Any Size www.niddk.nih.gov/health for more information on exercise for people with obesity.

“We should ask people with diabetes and limited physical abilities about their sport. How were you successful? What exercise options did you find? What have you done at home or in your ward? ”Kemmis told Healio. “This can provide great options for others in similar situations.”

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Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists

Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists

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