Exercise and Diabetes: An Interview with Richard Parker

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As a National Academy of Sports Medicine [N.A.S.M.] Approved Continuing Education Provider, Richard Parker has developed and teaches a comprehensive course on Exercise and Special Populations for trainers seeking continuing education credits in this specialized fitness field. In addition, he conducts client forums in the Washington, DC region on Exercise and Diabetes.


Special Populations Overview

In fitness, the term Special Populations refers to anyone who presents a greater challenge to exercise and exercise training than is reasonably expected of the general population. This would include individuals who are elderly, have M.S., suffer chronic low back pain, are pregnant, significantly obese, or, as discussed below, those who have been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

The Epidemic of Diabetes

One of the most formidable healthcare challenges today is type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is a failure of the pancreas to produce sufficient levels of the hormone insulin as a of result organ dysfunction, Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that is brought on by a convergence of poor lifestyle choices. While Type 2 diabetes can largely be avoided, it continues to march through our society like some indomitable virulent plague bent on destroying mankind one amputated limb at a time.

Diabetes directly affects 25.8 million Americans while an estimated 79 million over the age of 20 are prediabetic. That's a total of 104 million people, or 1 in 3 Americans, facing the consequences of diabetes. This disease is the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, and non -traumatic amputation in the U.S. It is a major cause of heart disease and stroke and is the seventh leading cause of death.



Diabetes Article