Diabetes and Exercise
In This Article
Type 2 diabetes has always been recognized as a “lifestyle” disease. This means that although you may or may not have the genes that dispose you to becoming diabetic, whether you actually become diabetic and if you do, whether you’re able to reverse diabetes (yeah, you heard right. We said “Reverse it!”). type 2 diabetes exercise is strongly linked to lifestyle choices you make, especially diet and physical activities.
When we say lifestyle, we include diet in it. So the key components, each supported by research studies that have shown measurable results on reduction of diabetes include:
At sepalika.com, we go the extra mile to make sure that the information that we share is reliable; that it has research studies to back it up. Please click on “References” at the end of the article to see the research studies that have contributed to the creation of this article.
Exercise is known to have many benefits.
Yeah, we saved the best for the last. Research has proven time and again that the biggest, direct, measurable benefit of exercise for diabetics is improved blood sugar control. The benefits of something as simple as a post-meal walk are mind boggling.
The most direct way exercise helps Type 2 diabetes is by using up sugar. Exercise needs energy. Energy is made from sugar. You exercise, your blood sugar goes down. Simple. So there is a strong connection between exercise and diabetes sugar levels.
Beyond this simple understanding, exercise has shown to improve the “insulin resistance” of cells, allowing for more sugar to enter the cells, where it belongs, rather than floating in your blood, where it does not.
Finally, stress and diabetes are often connected. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, “feel good” chemicals that help de-stress. Lesser stress = Lesser stress hormones = Less rapid sugar poured into the blood stream to combat to handle stress.
It may seem like a challenge right now, but with the right precautions, a sound fitness plan will soon set you on the road to optimum health. You can also include yoga exercise for diabetes in your physical routine.
Always get your doctor’s okay before you start an exercise regimen. Get assessed for any conditions that may contraindicate certain types of exercise or result in injury. Keep in mind your age and your previous physical activity level before you begin. This is especially important if: Bottom of Form
To begin with, exercise has the same effect on blood glucose as insulin. It lowers blood glucose, making you more sensitive to insulin. This is a benefit of exercise that can also pose a problem, if it lowers your blood glucose too much. If you use injected insulin or are on oral diabetic medications, then there is a greater risk of the blood glucose going too low, a condition called hypoglycemia. Don’t let this scare you. You have to start someday, so we’re going to break it down for you and let you get started with all the proper safeguards in place.
What if Blood Glucose is Less Than 70mg/dL
Any physical activity requires good hydration. Diabetics are especially prone to dehydration and getting into a dehydrated state can impact blood glucose levels and heart function adversely. Drink plenty of liquids prior to physical activity. (e.g., 17 ounces of fluid consumed two hours before physical activity). If you have any kidney issues, discuss things with your doctor before you increase water intake, to protect your kidneys. Have fluid frequently to compensate for losses in sweat.
Diabetics can often lose sensation to some degree in their feet either as the disease progresses or because their medication is stealing vital nutrients from their body, leading to nerve damage. Foot care requires special attention for diabetics.
That’s it. You now know how and why exercise works to help you control your blood sugar. Now can go ahead and build the best exercise plan for yourself and get started!