Diabetes & Exercise

posted Apr 15, 2019, 2:15 PM by Difference Personal Training

When you have type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your treatment plan.  It’s also important to have a healthy meal plan and maintain your blood glucose level through medications or insulin, if necessary. If you stay fit and active throughout your life, you’ll be able to better control your diabetes and keep your blood glucose level in the correct range. Controlling your blood glucose level is essential to preventing long-term complications, such as nerve pain and kidney disease.

Exercise has so many benefits, but the biggest 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 doesn’t produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesn’t use insulin properly (insulin resistant).

In either case, exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t 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 susceptible to developing blocked arteries (arteriosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy and strong.

Additionally, there are all the traditional benefits of exercise:
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better control of weight
  • Increased level of good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Leaner, stronger muscles
  • Stronger bones
  • More energy
  • Improved mood
  • Better sleep
  • Stress management

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.
 
Remember to stay hydrated by drinking water and always have a treatment for low blood glucose handy (a 15 g carb snack is a good idea). It is smart to check your blood sugar with your glucose meter before and after exercise to make sure you are in a safe range.Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes does change your life, but making small changes to your routine can help you incorporate more physical activity into your day.
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