Exercise and Diabetes, any idea why these two are Brought Together?
Well, by burning up glucose, exercise is superb in giving you stable glucose levels in your blood.
Besides this, does exercise help if you’ve diabetes?
Apparently, it’s a huge help.
We’ll see how exactly exercise helps diabetes, in a sec.
Now let’s be clear about what’s diabetes first.
Exercise and Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Your body (and mine too) normally processes sugars and starches into a usable form called glucose, which is carried to your various tissues.
For glucose to enter skeletal muscle, insulin (a hormone produced by your pancreas) must be present. Once glucose enters your body’s muscle cells, it’s broken down and used for energy or stored for later use.
If you’ve diabetes, you won’t be able to produce enough insulin for this process to take place. Consequently, glucose is unable to enter your muscle cells and therefore builds up in your blood.
Hence it’s important you regulate your glucose levels to help reduce the onset of complications from diabetes.
If your glucose levels go unchecked for extended periods, you’re vulnerable to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and nerve dysfunction.
Therefore, you need to be careful about the quantity and quality of foods you eat, and the physical activity you do.
The insufficient insulin production also necessitates daily insulin injections to maintain your glucose levels as close to normal as possible.
Exercise and Diabetes – How does Exercise Help?
This is the great part about exercise.
When you exercise, your body uses glucose for the activity, so it lowers your glucose levels in your blood.
One thing though, exercise cannot normalize your glucose levels, but it can effectively counteract increased glucose levels which occur after eating.
Exercise helps in diabetes control by stimulating insulin functioning, and may reduce your need for medication.
Exercise also lowers your risk of heart disease, a common condition if you’ve diabetes.
Exercise and Diabetes – What are the Precautions?
- Seek your doctor’s clearance first before starting an exercise program
- Monitor your glucose level before and after exercise to understand how you respond to certain types of exercise
- If your glucose level is too low or too high right before you want to exercise, it’s better to wait until the level improves
- Exercise with a partner and wear an ID bracelet to indicate your diabetic condition
- You’re at risk for low glucose levels (referred to as hypoglycemia), hence you should carry with you food that’s high in carbohydrate in case energy is needed
- Keep watch on your glucose level if you exercise in really hot or cold conditions, because the temperature changes how your body absorbs insulin
- See your doctor regularly to minimize the onset of diabetic complications. If complications of the eye, kidney or heart are present, your doctor should give clear guidelines regarding the intensity of any exercise or physical activity you do
- You could have problems with the nerves in your feet and legs, sometimes without even knowing it. So wear shoes that fit well and have plenty of room when you exercise. Otherwise you could develop blisters or other sores on your feet that can lead to infection and other problems
- Drink plenty of fluid before, during and after exercise as when you’re exercising, your body uses more fluid to keep you cool. If you don’t drink enough, dehydration may set in and can affect your glucose level
- Increase your food intake when you plan to do extra exercise. When engaged in strenuous exercise, you need to take extra food every hour to balance the calories you’re burning. And you need to have fast acting sugar with you in case of a reaction
A Good Thought on Exercise and Diabetes
Exercise does help if you’ve diabetes.
When you exercise, you burn up the glucose in your blood and your blood glucose concentration drops.
Ain’t that great?
So diabetes shouldn’t be the reason why you aren’t doing exercise.
Just have proper control and reasonable precautions and you’ll be having healthier glucose level in your body.