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Free event motivates people with diabetes to get active

A free one-day conference aimed at motivating people with diabetes to get active is coming to Swansea University.

The free public event, called “Diabetes and Exercise: Yes, You Can!” is being delivered by Diabetes UK Cymru and the Diabetes Research Unit Cymru on Saturday 23 June.

The conference is open to all and will bring together experts, healthcare professionals and individuals living with diabetes. They will share practical advice and empowering stories to encourage people to make healthy changes to their lifestyle and exercise safely.

Exercise has significant benefits to managing both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and has been shown to help prevent Type 2 diabetes in as many as three in five cases.

Workshops will cover topics such as nutrition, diabetes medications and exercise, and dealing with diabetes complications. Attendees will hear from leading academics from Swansea University, University College Dublin and the National University of Ireland, as well dietitians, GPs and representatives from Sport Wales.

They will also hear personal perspectives on managing exercise with the condition. Hugo Thompson, from Caerleon, became the first person with Type 1 diabetes to complete the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge earlier this year, and Jonathan Eaton lost nearly four stone and turned his life around after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce the hormone insulin, which controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, and not related to diet or lifestyle, but exercise can help with managing blood glucose levels.
One of the leading risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese. Adults who are obese are five times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those of a healthy weight.

191,000 people in Wales have diabetes, and about 90 per cent of these have Type 2. This is the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK. A further 59,000 are believed to have Type 2 diabetes, but have not yet been diagnosed. If left untreated or poorly managed, diabetes can lead to serious complications as amputation, blindness, heart attack and stroke.

Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “Diabetes is a complex, lifelong condition, and being fit and healthy is fundamental to living well with the condition. With the right management and support, there is no reason why anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes shouldn’t be able to enjoy a full and active life. This event will help answer some of the questions and concerns that may be stopping people from getting out there and enjoying exercise.

“Whether you are unsure how to manage your insulin while playing your favourite sport, are looking for motivation to get started, or simple ways to increase your activity levels, this conference will provide you with the information and encouragement you need.”

Richard Bracken, Associate Professor of Sports Science, Swansea University, said, “Diabetes can present unique challenges when it comes to increasing your fitness or achieving a physical goal. This event will provide people with tailored advice and information to help them enjoy exercise safely.

“DRU Cymru is proud to be working with Diabetes UK Cymru once more to build on the success of our previous events and encourage even more people living with diabetes to embrace exercise, and the difference it can make to their lives.”

“Diabetes and Exercise: Yes, You Can!” takes place from 9:00am to 3.00pm in Lecture Theatre 004, Swansea Bay Campus, Swansea University, SA1 8EN. All are welcome to attend, but children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. To register, visit https://eu.eventscloud.com/yesyoucan .

For more information contact Diabetes UK Cymru on 02920 668276 or [email protected]