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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can an exercise physiologist help manage diabetes?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Anonymous User

    HealthShare Member

    An Accredited Exercise Physiologist has specialised training in the treatment of diabetes, and other complex conditions.
    An AEP will develop an exercise plan with you targeting your goals and what it is you are trying to achieve (weight loss, better control of diabetes, etc), by finding out your exercise likes, dislikes, any injuries you may have as well as your experience level.
    There is no one size fits all program and your program will be targeted directly at you and you goals.

  • 1


    Eric Rosario

    Exercise Physiologist

    Master of Applied Science by Research into the Effects of Strength Training on Postmenopausal women. I have been involved in strength training for 67 years … View Profile

    As Stuart has said there is no one size fits all.An Exercise Physiologist can assist you to increase muscle mass which in turn helps you to increase insulin sensitivity. Increased muscle mass will also increase your metabolic rate which will reduce fat. Meditation will also reduce stress which will reduce visceral fat (Intra abdominal fat) which is a prime cause of diabetes. Certain Yogic abdominal practices will also reduce visceral fat.

  • 1


    Amy MacLaine

    Exercise Physiologist

    Full-time Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Body Dynamics Illawarra (Bulli). Body Dynamics Illawarra is a small gym-based Exercise Physiology clinic established by Jennifer and Alan Wilkie … View Profile

    In addition to what Eric and Stuart have pointed out… AEPs specialise in chronic and complex disease and injury. Thus, an AEP is able establish an exercise program that will accomodate (and hopefully prevent) co-morbidities and other complex health concerns (including musculoskeletal) whilst addressing your diabetes. AEPs also have an understanding of the action of diabetic medication that may pre-dispose you to a hypoglycaemic attack during exercise - therefore we are able to help you come up with a plan to exercise within the recommended BGL levels.

  • 1


    Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE … View Profile


    As Stuart, Eric and Amy highlight, accredited exercise physiologists (AEP) are highly skilled health professionals.

    As everyone is unique, a one-size-fits-all approach for exercise does not work. So an AEP will help you understand yourself, how your lifestyle runs and what can be done to manage diabetes. An AEP will help you design a lifestyle plan for diet, exercise, relaxation (stress management) that works for you.

    We all have our likes and dislikes, little injuries and limitations, so an AEP will work with these and find a plan that works for you. Like Eric mentioned, improving muscle mass is very important in managing blood glusoe levels with diabetes, so an AEP will develop an appropriare exercise programing incorporating resistance training. 

    Regards, Neil

  • 3


    An Exercise Physiologist (EP) is well qualified to help you implement an individual exercise program that will help improve glycaemic control, for people with T2 diabetes, pre diabetes and prevention of diabetes . The exercise prescription for this is well documented in a number of position papers below-:
    Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 15 (2012) 25–31, Colberg SR, Sigal RJ, Fernhall B, et al.
    Exercise and type 2 diabetes: the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement executive summary. Diabetes Care 2010;33:2692–2696

    EP's are also well able to support the dietary guidelines required for people with T2 diabetes as they have a general understanding of the basic dietary goals for these people.

    However it is outside the scope of practice for an EP to design individualised lifestyle eating plans for people with T2 diabetes (as mentioned in the post above), as this is specialised Medical Nutritional Therapy (MNT) and often dependant on the medical management for this person, which the EP is not qualified or competent to provide. content/uploads/2014/08/AEP-Scope-of-Practice-October-2014.pdf.
    Diabetes Care 2015;38(Suppl. 1):S20–S30 | DOI: 10.2337/dc15-S007

    Your GP will be able to refer you to a competent EP who has experience with diabetes and also may complete a Medicare Chronic Disease plan which enables you to cover some of the cost of the consultation with the EP.

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