Physical activity is known for helping with prevention and control of Type 2 diabetes, but going to a gym or other facility on a regular basis can be impractical and expensive for many people. In a study reported on in Biomedcentral Endocrine Disorders in December 2013, researchers looked at the possibility of using the game Wii Fit Plus as an easier and less expensive alternative.
The study included 220 participants diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. One group of the diabetics was assigned 12 weeks of treatment with a Wii console, balance board and Wii Fit Plus. Other diabetics stuck to only their usual care and lifestyle for the first 12 weeks.
The diabetics who performed the Wii Fit game for 12 weeks showed improvements in:
- HbA1c percentage,
- fasting blood sugar levels,
- mental health,
- ability to function better in general, and
- outlook on life.
From these results the conclusion was reached Blood balance that the Wii Fit Plus game was able to assist people in achieving improved diabetes control and quality of life.
Wii Fit with balance board is a product of the Nintendo company and is available from a wide variety of sources, such as Sears, Walmart, GameStop, and eBay. The game consists of a combination of over forty activities, including aerobic exercise, sports moves, dance, yoga, balance activities, and strength training.
Users can input information such as body mass index and goals. The program is able to calculate how the user can reach their goals. The user chooses what kind of activities and how much time and energy they want to spend and see how many calories they burn. Time spent exercising outside the program can also be entered into the equation. Balance tests and testing the user’s center of gravity can also be carried out to let the user know how much work needs to be done on their balance.
Several studies have shown aerobic activity to be helpful in controlling Type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 30 minutes a day to help increase insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels, as well as to help the heart and bones. Some studies have shown improvement in blood sugar and cholesterol levels in Type 2 diabetics who practice yoga. Balance exercises, particularly in older adults, can help to avoid falls and broken bones – diabetics can be at high risk for bone fractures. Strength training has also been shown to be beneficial for people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – improving insulin sensitivity and lowering belly fat.
When contemplating a new exercise program consult your doctor for a general health assessment and to collaborate on a plan to reach your goals
Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. By making simple changes to your daily routine, its possible to protect your heart, kidneys, eyes and limbs from the damage often caused by high blood sugar, and eliminate many of the complications you may already experience.