Published on 27 April 2019

David Adams was shocked to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes aged 35, despite having a family history of diabetes. In this story with DRWF, David discusses his lifestyle and how exercise has helped him manage his diabetes.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1993 when I was 35 years old, I was aware of the condition as my father has lived with it for 32 years. However it was still a shock as I was a relatively fit guy who had played rugby in my 20s and 30s.

Looking back I now know I wasn't as fit and healthy as I thought I was and I basically ignored the condition as I didn't think it was particularly serious. I have always tried to eat a balanced diet but can be prone to a little over indulgence at times and over the next few years I moved from tablets to Novorapid and Levamir insulin injections.

In 2008 a friend suggested taking on the London to Paris rowing challenge, I hadn't done any competitive rowing since my university days, however I was keen to be part of the team and started to build up my fitness. I started to see some immediate effects on my diabetes, I was eating a very low calorie diet and lots of steamed fish and vegetables and as I lost weight I was able to reduce my insulin.

The rowing has led to a renewed interest in cycling and I have taken on a variety of cycling challenges including a 1000 mile ride to Poland to celebrate a wedding and a 700 mile ride to the South of France.

I now visit the gym at least 4 times a week and do spinning classes, rowing and swimming and I can confirm my diabetes is better controlled and I feel much healthier as a result.

I feel regular exercise if possible is very important for a diabetic.