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Exercise and Diabetes: A Narrative Review

      Abstract

      Persons with diabetes might experience significant benefits through regular exercise. Not unlike the general population, those with diabetes could also lack motivation to participate in an exercise program. Often, those treating persons with diabetes lack training and/or interest in exercise prescription and are therefore unable to provide the needed information and encouragement. In many cases, reluctance to exercise could result from an inability to find an enjoyable exercise activity. Attempts to find activities that, not only provide effective aerobic challenges, but are also enjoyable to participate in are fraught with difficulty. Three electronic databases were searched in January 2017. Evidence for the merits of exercise for those with diabetes was robust. Numerous reports have addressed the degree of noncompliance to exercise recommendations and the barriers reported for this nonadherence. Additional studies concluded that most medical providers are deficient in formal training in the prescription of an exercise program. Newer studies are evaluating the effects of exercise and vitamin D supplementation and their interplay with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and ulceration. Exercise confers remarkable benefits to those with diabetes; however, the challenges to compelling patients with diabetes to exercise are formidable. An improved focus on exercise prescription and related motivation during provider training must be undertaken.

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