The benefits of exercise for persons with diabetes—or practically any other condition, for that matter—cannot be emphasized. Exercise helps you lose weight, manage your blood pressure, lower your bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, boost your beneficial HDL cholesterol, strengthen your muscles and bones, reduce your anxiety, and enhance your overall well-being. Exercise decreases blood glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity, which helps persons with diabetes overcome insulin resistance.
Many studies have been conducted to highlight these and other advantages of exercise. Here are some highlights from those findings:
Exercise reduced HbA1c levels by 0.7 percentage points in patients with diabetes from various ethnic groups who were taking different medicines and eating a range of diets—and this improvement happened even though they did not lose any weight.
All types of exercise—aerobic, resistance, or a combination of the two (combined training)—were equally effective at lowering HbA1c levels in patients with diabetes.
Resistance training and aerobic exercise reduced insulin resistance in previously inactive older people with abdominal obesity and diabetes risk. Combining the two forms of exercise was found to be more effective than each one alone.
Diabetes patients who walked at least two hours per week were less likely to die of heart disease than their sedentary counterparts, and those who exercised three to four hours per week reduced their risk even more.
Women with diabetes who engaged in at least four hours of moderate (including walking) or strenuous exercise each week had a 40% decreased chance of getting heart disease than those who did not. These benefits persisted even after researchers controlled for confounding factors such as BMI, smoking, and other risk factors for heart disease.
One to three hours after eating is the optimal time to exercise since your blood sugar level is likely to be more significant. It is critical to monitor your blood sugar before exercising if you use insulin. If your blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL before exercise, a piece of fruit or a little snack will help you prevent hypoglycemia. If you test again 30 minutes later, your blood sugar level will be steady. It’s also a good idea to monitor your blood sugar levels after any strenuous workout or activity. If you use insulin, your risk of hypoglycemia may be highest six to twelve hours after exercising. Experts also advise against exercising if your blood sugar is extremely high (above 250) because activity might cause blood sugar to rise even higher.
1) Why is exercise essential for people with diabetes?
Being active makes your body more responsive to insulin (the hormone that permits cells in your body to utilise blood sugar for energy), which aids with diabetes management. Physical activity also aids in blood sugar regulation and reduces your chances of heart disease and nerve damage.
2) How does it affect blood sugar levels?
Using your muscles aids in the burning of glucose and improves the way insulin functions. As a result, blood glucose levels normally decrease during activity.
Does exercising quickly reduce blood sugar levels?
By making your body more responsive to insulin, physical exercise can drop your blood sugar for up to 24 hours or longer after your workout. Get to know how your blood sugar reacts to exercise.
3) What do you need to keep in mind when exercising in regarding diabetes?
Maintain a close check on your blood sugar levels.
Many doctors advise monitoring your blood sugar before and after working exercise. If you often exercise for lengthy periods, such as long-distance jogging or leisure hiking, checking your blood sugar in the middle of your activity may be a good idea.