India is the diabetes capital of the world! No, this not a hyped phrase just to get your attention. This was the headline of a Times of India news article in 2016. Between 2015 to 2017, 7 million new cases of diabetes have been reported, with around 72 million cases in total.
We all have the desire to excel in life and move up the ladder with successful careers, something we must all work towards. Unfortunately, economic development and rise in per capita income increase chances of being affected by diabetes, due to the intake of high-calorie or processed food. As India’s per capita income grew by 340% in about 25 years until 2016, the number of diabetes case rose by more than 123 percent.
But all is not lost. While a US health institute says Indians are more likely to become diabetic, the American Diabetes Association recommends countering inactivity and obesity with exercise. What this article will detail out is how something as fundamental as exercise is the foundation behind the reason to drive your turnaround story.
The Silent Killer – Your Guide to Understanding Diabetes
For the uninitiated, diabetes occurs when your body isn’t able to transfer the glucose or energy received from the food you eat to the cells across your body. To be a little technical, the food you eat is converted into sugar or glucose and is stored in the blood. Insulin is a hormone and can be thought of as a key that breaks these sugars and sends them to the cells. Diabetes is a disease when not enough or no insulin is produced.
Causes could be wide-ranging, from the immune system mis-mapping insulin-producing cells as harmful, and destroying them (Type 1 Diabetes), to lifestyle habits like a sedentary lifestyle or poor diet choice Type 2 Diabetes, as mentioned above. With Indians having diets rich in starch-based foods by default, coupled with increasing urbanization, it has become a huge health burden for people as well as for the economy.
To understand its severity, it can be life-threatening and is the seventh leading cause of loss of life globally. If you have recently noticed occurrences of fatigue, weight loss or gain, increased hunger/thirst, or nausea, it might be good to consult a physician, before your condition could become acute.
Exercising – The Ignored, yet Essential Third Link Towards Recovery
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for diabetics, but as popularly known, insulin injections and devices to track glucose levels in the blood help keep patients aware of their condition. Nutrition plays an important role in managing your condition, covering multiple food groups. But while these two procedures are very doable from one’s home or office, exercise is a key recommendation, although it is not always adhered to by patients. Primary reasons could be current health conditions such as obesity or weakness. It could also be a passive lifestyle that becomes the norm during the medication journey.
Some of these habits have unfortunately helped the number of diabetes cases rise by 64 percent across India in the past quarter-century, according to an Indian Council for Medical Research report from November 2017.
While diet and medication are stipulated and restricted based on the subject’s specific diabetic criticality, exercises of a wide range and mode are medically authorized to treat this ailment. In fact, exercise helps the body control sugar levels as it becomes sensitive to the insulin being produced. It helps lower blood sugar levels, increases endurance, and lower weight with increased muscle. Also, you can have a healthier heart and increase immunity against illnesses.
The CrossFit Way Ticks All Your Fitness Needs towards Diabetes Reduction
The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise (moderate to vigorous) for five days a week to allow leftover glucose to be used, helping muscles become more sensitive to insulin. This association, along with the Harvard Medical School, recommends aerobics, strength and resistance training towards remission or healing from diabetes. Sadly, gyms across the world, through their independent objectives and method of operating, have a diverse set of fitness routines, most of which do not include the range of workouts needed by diabetic patients.
But here is where CrossFit checks all the boxes. It is a strength and conditioning training program covering a mix of aerobic exercise, gymnastics, and Olympic activity weight lifting (strength). In addition, CrossFit’s programming is decentralized, allowing people of different strength levels or age groups to move up the fitness curve at their pace. It is also time-effective, mandating faster and increased results in a time period needed under traditional fitness routines. With intense training sessions that improve endurance, it also allows the body’s abilities and safeguards mechanisms to work with better effect.
In a recent study organized by The Physiological Society, a time-bound (6-week) comparison of CrossFit Vs non-CrossFit routines was undertaken with diabetes affected patients. At the end of the study, it revealed how participants under the CrossFit program showed considerable improvement of controlled blood sugar levels, better weight control and the reduced risk of heart disease for people with Type II diabetes.
We at X60Crossfit are excited to spread the art of getting treated through the sport of movement, to a number of those affected by diabetes. Drop us a line if you are interested to know more and get started on your remission path.
A Success Story from X60 CrossFit
Ravi has been a member of X60 CrossFit, Hyderabad’s first official CrossFit center for 6 months. He was suffering from high sugar levels in 2018. Around July last year, he heard that CrossFit was an ideal platform to achieve multiple objectives he had: reducing his diabetic condition (the critical one), fitness, stamina, etc. He began practicing recommend routines based on CrossFit’s diabetes management manual. Before he began the routine, he kept a record of his medical test results to compare it with results from the test he took after a rigorous routine that has already proven successful in many similar cases worldwide.
Below is a comparison of key diabetic medical metrics that indicate the criticality of a patient’s condition:
How CrossFit reduces Diabetes
(Time Period of Observation: 4 months)
|Before CrossFit Program|
Post CrossFit Program
|Average Blood Glucose Level||194||92 (Fasting Blood Sugar)|
|Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test (Hemoglobin A1c)||8.4||5.5|
It is quite heartening when Ravi showed us the results he started noticing as soon as he switched to CrossFit’s diabetes fitness program. The program has been designed in close coordination with the medical community to understand how it can deliver the best results in a safe and tested environment.
We are excited and honored to spread the art of getting treated through the sport of movement, to a number of those affected by diabetes. CrossFit does prevent and reverse Diabetes. Drop us a line if you are interested to know more and get started on your remission path.