Monday, November 18, 2019 - Exercise and Managing Diabetes

The Role Exercise plays in Managing Your Diabetes!

Exercise has so many benefits, but the most critical one is that it makes it easier to control your blood glucose (blood sugar) level. People with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, either because their body does not produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body does not use insulin properly (insulin resistant). In either case, exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you are exercising. In other words, it does not matter if you are insulin resistant or if you do not have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down.

Exercise can also help people with type 2 diabetes avoid long-term complications, especially heart problems. People with diabetes are likely to develop blocked arteries (heart disease), which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy and strong. Not to mention, exercising regularly helps maintain a healthy weight which additionally assists in managing diabetes.
In general, the best time to exercise is one to three hours after eating, when your blood glucose level is likely to be higher. It is important to test your blood sugar before exercising (especially if you use insulin) and manage properly to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Fortunately, you do not need a gym membership to exercise. A brisk walk around your neighborhood for 30 minutes 5 days a week after dinner is enough to reap the benefits of exercise. Adding weight lifting and stretching (yoga) to the mix will help you notice results even faster.

When most people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they are overweight, so the idea of exercising is particularly daunting. For your health, you have to get started on a good, reasonable exercise plan, but first you should talk to your doctor. Also before you begin exercising, you need to set realistic goals. If you haven’t exercised much recently, you will want to start slow and gradually increase the amount and intensity of the activity. Find a time when your energy is highest. You could plan to do something active before work or during the day. For example, you could try walking for 30 minutes during your lunch break a few days each week. Simply, just starting somewhere is the goal to better diabetes management.