Diabetes is a serious and complex disease that affects the entire body. Those who suffer from it use insulin to control and manage the level of glucose in their bodies. They also observe a proper diet to keep diabetes from leading to other complications.
In recent years, exercise is increasingly promoted as part of the therapeutic regimen for most types of this condition. If you have diabetes or you are at risk of having diabetes, it is time to include exercise in your daily routine. Read on to know why you should exercise and how to do it safely if you have diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a kind of metabolic disorder in which the body can’t maintain healthy levels of glucose (a form of sugar and the main source of energy of every cell in the body) in the blood. Unhealthy levels of glucose may lead to some serious complications.
Diabetes has three main types, which are somewhat similar but differ in the most salient cause. Type 1 has an unknown cause yet, however experts believe that it has a strong family link, Type 2 is the common type of diabetes associated with the modifiable lifestyle risk factors, and Gestational diabetes may occur during pregnancy.
Performing a daily exercise is a very important action in treating Diabetes, especially for those who have type 2 diabetes, since it is usually linked with an unhealthy lifestyle. Here are some of the benefits of exercise:
Exercise Enables Insulin to Work Better
Exercise can help in controlling the blood glucose (blood sugar) level of people with diabetes. Insulin sensitivity is increased while performing exercises, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after the activity.
It is also important to be aware of the effect of physical activity on your blood sugar since it may vary due to some other factors . Checking your blood sugar level more often before and after the activity can help you see its benefits. It will help you monitor your blood sugar and prevent it from going too high or too low.
Exercise Maintains Healthy Weight
People with unmanaged weight are prone to having Type 2 diabetes, exercise along with a proper diet can also help you in avoiding this to happen.
Exercise Regulates Blood Pressure
Diabetes increases the risk of blood pressure like heart diseases and kidney failure; thus, it is very essential to turn to the change of lifestyle, to include the dietary regimen and exercise. Most of the doctors advise brisk walking for 30-40 minutes every day but any physical activity can make your heart healthier.
Exercise Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Exercise offers good management of blood pressure for people with diabetes which may in result decreasing the risk of heart disease and other serious complications
Manages Stress levels
Stress can cause different diseases, like diabetes. According to studies, exercise is considered vital for maintaining mental fitness and it can reduce stress. Physical activity also helps bump up the production of endorphins (brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters).
What to Think About
Many people are intimidated when they get the recommendation to exercise. Those who have Type 2 Diabetes and are overweight can especially view exercise as a daunting task. But don’t worry, there are exercise programs that suits any fitness level. You also should start with easy activities first if you haven’t done any exercise before. Then, gradually increase the intensity until you get used to sweating it out.
The next step is to create a routine and make exercise a habit. Think of your long-term health as a motivation to keep going. Once you do, you’ll lose weight and your body will be more adept in using glucose and producing insulin to help battle diabetes.
What Exercises You can Do?
The following exercises are easy activities that are not only beneficial to your physical health but also for your mental and emotional wellness. They will allow you to enjoy yourself and the outdoors while getting a healthy body to help with diabetes·
- Take a daily walk
- Weight training
- Cycling/indoor exercise bikes
- Indoor and outdoor sports
- Aerobic exercises
Tips and Reminders
Whichever activity you enjoy the most and decide to do regularly, make sure to do the following:
1. Drink a lot of fluid before and after your exercise (preferably filtered water).
2. Intake extra carbohydrates before and during exercise to prevent hypoglycemia.
3. Monitor your blood glucose levels before, during, and after exercise to assess your requirements for extra food
4. Make sure to exercise daily, and for at least 30 minutes. You may also divide it into sessions for example 10 minutes per session of 3.
5. If you are losing weight, turn 30 minutes to 45-60 minutes.
6. Do not force your body to its limit. Moderate intensity of exercise is suggested, especially for beginners.
7. Take good care of your feet, always check them before and after exercise and wear comfortable footwear.
Talk to Your Doctor
Diabetes is best managed with the support of an expert. Your Doctor or Dietician will help you learn everything you need to know about diabetes, treatment, and management.
To further help you in your diabetes management, Southport chemist Greg Keily Chemist is an NDSS accredited pharmacy. We offer you supply consumables such as Blood Glucose testing strips, syringes, and needles at a reduced price. And for professional advice, we also have several qualified pharmacists who can offer advice and education on all aspects of diabetes management, including:
- Expert advice on all medications used in the treatment of diabetes
- Education on the use of Blood Glucose monitors and Insulin Pens
- Advice on the management of diabetes and management of sick days
- How diet and exercise affect the management and progression of diabetes