Diabetes is an increasing problem in the 21st century. Diabetes Australia reports this metabolic disease as the "fastest growing chronic condition in Australia" where, on average, a person is diagnosed with diabetes every five minutes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, accounting for 85-90 per cent of all diagnosed cases, and these numbers are on the rise, claims Diabetes Australia.

In light of World Diabetes Day (November 14), we are encouraged to maintain physically active lifestyles to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and consequently, cardiac disease.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you are twice as likely to have cardiac disease, as opposed to non-diabetics. As cardiac disease is the leading cause of mortality in type 2 diabetics, managing your condition can help you maintain a long and healthy lifestyle, well into retirement.

Exercise: Make it short and sweet

Shorter and more rigorous physical exercise, as opposed to moderate and longer, was found to be beneficial to those with type 2 diabetes.

A study conducted by Professor Michael Trenell and Dr Sophie Cassidy from Newcastle University (UK) monitored 28 patients with type 2 diabetes before and after a 12-week regime of high intensity intermittent training, and concluded with promising results.

Trial patients started with a five minute warm-up session followed by five intervals of taxing exercise, interspersed with three-minute recovery periods after each interval.

This study has found that brief spurts of exercise throughout the day can reduce cardiac dysfunction and lower fat levels in the liver, "accompanied by modest improvements in glycaemic control".

Take a brisk walk after dinner - it can reduce the risks of heart disease!Take a brisk walk after dinner – it can reduce the risks of heart disease!

Eat first, then exercise

A December 2014 study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that exercising after dinner reduced the risks of cardiovascular disease more effectively than exercising before dinner.

Jill A. Kanaley and her fellow researchers, from the University of Missouri, studied participants who were obese and had type 2 diabetes. Participants engaged in 45-minute exercise periods before dinner, and on another occasion, after dinner. It was found that exercise before eating only reduced sugar levels in blood, whereas post-dinner exercise reduced both sugar and liver fat levels.

The exercises conducted in this study consisted of resistance exercises – leg curls and seated calf raises. Though less vigorous than the exercise in the study from Newcastle University, results still showed to be beneficial for participants.

Both these studies show that physical exercise of any intensity can reduce risks of cardiac disease. Aqua aerobics is a great fitness alternative for seniors who are impeded from normal physical activities.

Incorporate exercise in your everyday life. These risks are reduced prominently in type 2 diabetics, but will also benefit everyone else for a healthier lifestyle.

Exercise reduces cardiovascular risk for those with type 2 diabetes