Small changes in your lifestyle can pay off big in controlling your blood glucose levels. Eating the proper foods if you’re on a type 2 diabetes diet is very important. But exercise for diabetes combined with diet not optional. You have to do it.
Physical activity has numerous health benefits. In addition to helping to control your blood glucose levels naturally, exercise will make you feel better and help you live longer. And exercise isn’t as hard as you may think. If you just picked up your Nintendo Wii and played one of the sports games with your kids for 20 minutes a day, you’d get some exercise.
Benefits Of Exercise For Diabetes
- The Exercising muscle can increase its uptake by up to 20 times the resting muscle rate which results in reduced blood sugar levels
- Exercise reduces insulin resistance which generally means that it makes the cells of your body more sensitive to insulin – type 2 diabetics have problems with their cells being resistant to insulin, a term your doctor may have called insulin resistance
- Exercise increases the good cholesterol HDL – what this generally means it HDL, being the good cholesterol, can remove more bad cholesterol from your body (the more of it you have around the better) One of HDL’s jobs is to remove LDL the bad cholesterol from your body
- Exercising also helps you to lose weight and keep it off and reduces body fat
- It also decreases LDL which is known as the bad cholesterol that is responsible for clogging your blood vessels
- Exercising muscles uses extra glucose from the bloodstream as an energy source
- Exercise reduces blood pressure
- Exercise maintains and can increase muscle mass – the ADA recommends resistance training targeting all major muscle groups three times per week for type 2 Diabetics
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
The ADA recommends 150 minutes (about 20 minutes per day) of exercise per week and this should include moderate exercise. Moderate exercise can exercises like walking, jogging, swimming or bike riding. The bottom line is just do it! A lot of what you do depends on your age and health. But there are plenty of things that you can do. What is moderate for one person will be different for the next. I recommend finding something you enjoy and sticking with it.
You don’t have to be exhausted when you workout. This is what intimidates some people. Don’t think that you have to go out and run a 6 minute mile. That is not necessary. As little as 20 minutes per day of walking will work wonders for you and help to control your blood sugar.
Prior to using any of this exercise advice, please consult with your doctor.