Exercise and Diabetes
Understanding exercise and diabetes is an important part of your
diabetic management tools.
Managing blood glucose levels is very important for type 2
Learning to eat healthy, reduce stress and
exercise are a few ways you can help manage your health.
There are many benefits to exercise including
promoting weight loss, relieving stress, reducing certain medical risks
like heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol just to
name a few.
Benefits of Exercise for Diabetics
of understanding exercise and diabetes is knowing the benefits of being
Exercise can help you fight this disease and lower your blood
Exercise is a well known benefit for type 2 diabetics.
Exercise can bring you many benefits that will help you not only manage
your blood glucose levels, but make you healthier.
It can minimize risks of
certain medical conditions.
Here are even more ways regular workouts help you get fit and healthy;
- Promotes Weight Loss
- Improves the body’s use of insulin
- Relieves Stress
Exercising also brings many medical benefits that go beyond managing
your blood sugar levels such as reduced blood pressure, increased bone
and muscle strength, lowering cholesterol and improving blood
circulation reducing risk of heart disease.
Helps Blood Glucose Levels
Normally the pancreas releases two hormones, insulin and glucagon, to
help regulate blood glucose levels.
Insulin is used to lower
the blood sugar levels and increases the amount of glucagon in the
liver. The glucagon slowly increases the blood sugar levels
if it falls too low.
However, for people with type 2
diabetes, the amount of insulin released is either insufficient or the
body does not process them correctly.
can help lower your blood sugar levels when the insulin
cannot making exercise and diabetes important.
exercise your body needs extra energy for
This energy comes from glucose in your
When you do short bursts of activity like a quick
sprint to the car the muscles and the liver release
With extended exercise like a brisk 20 to 45 minute
walk or some structured exercise routine, your muscles takes glucose up
to 20 times more than the normal amount.
This in turn helps
to lower your blood sugar levels.
Intense workouts can have just the opposite effect and instead
of lowering the sugar levels it can actually increase blood glucose
This is something to keep in mind when planning exercise and
Because intense workouts are seen as a “stress” by
the body, your body will release stress hormones.
hormone causes the body to increase the available blood glucose to help
fuel the muscles.
So if you are doing a strenuous workout, be
sure to check your blood sugar levels after your workout.
your blood glucose levels are extremely high, wait to exercise at a
later time when the levels are more stable.
Types of Exercise
Any exercise will help you manage your blood glucose levels whether it
be strength training or aerobics.
Including both types of workouts for your exercise and diabetes control
is not only a great way to help lower blood sugar, you will also get
the benefits of burning calories and toning muscles.
Strength training will help you build stronger muscles and bones but
has also shown to help manage Type 2 Diabetes.
In a study of
Hispanic men and women who performed strength training for 16 weeks
results showed significant improvements in glucose control.
In fact the results were similar to taking diabetes
medication. Not only did the participants see positive
results in their blood sugar levels, they felt healthier, lost body
fat, were less depressed and felt more confident.
Aerobic exercises not only help Type 2 Diabetics manage their diabetes,
it has also been shown to reduce the risk of getting
For people prone to diabetes, establishing a
healthy eating plan and a regular exercise routine can help prevent
getting this disease.
Aerobic exercises are those workouts
that get your heart pumping and your body moving. You can
walk, jog, swim, dance…..or just about anything you enjoy that will get
When to Exercise
Before you start on your exercise and diabetes workout
routines, first discuss it with your
You want to ensure you select a workout that’s right for you and your
You should have a set routine where you exercise
at the same time.
Eat your meals at approximately the same time as well as take your
medication at the same time each day.
Talk this over with your doctor to determine if any adjustments are
needed to your medication. You should also avoid exercising
when your medicine is reaching the end of its peak
If you plan to participate in a strenuous
exercise or you exercise for periods lasting longer than 3 hours, check
with your doctor as your medication may need to be adjusted for these
types of exercises.
Be sure to pick exercises that work best for you and that you can
perform in order to stick with your exercise routine. Start
out slow and build up your strength and endurance and before you know
it, exercising will be just another part of your daily
With the right meal plan, medication (if needed) and
exercise you can manage your diabetes.
Exercise and Diabetics Tips
any exercise routine for anybody should be taken slowly at
first if you are not used to exercising. For diabetics this
is no different.
Here are some quick exercise and diabetes tips to help you get
Pick something you will enjoy so that you are more likely to stick to
your exercise routine.
Make sure you are comfortable during your workout. Have the
right exercise apparel and shoes.
Always warm up your muscles before you start your workout by simply
walking or marching in place for about 5 minutes.
After your warm up and after your workout you should always stretch
your muscles to prevent injury.
Cooling down after your workout is just as important as warming
up. Cool down by slowing down your exercise and keep moving
at a slower pace until your heart beat is back to normal.
out these other exercise
tips to help you with exercise and diabetes
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