Diabetes and Exercise

There are a number of different ways that diabetes can occur in a person, but at the same time there are also plenty of options available to prevent such a problem occurring in the first place and one of which is exercise.

The main causes for diabetes (especially type 2) are often down to a poor diet, someone being overweight or obese, and a lack of regular exercise. Over the past few years, there have been plenty of reports from experts who regularly state that there are definite links between the effectiveness of exercising, in terms of the part it will play when it comes to anyone that suffers from diabetes.

Of course, you are almost certainly going to understand the importance of exercising (daily, if possible) but it cannot be underestimated how vital this is going to be for anyone that suffers from diabetes.

What has led to many of us gaining extra weight?

This is definitely a question that a lot of experts have asked, especially as years ago we were more active and problems such as diabetes were less likely. The reasons that record numbers of people are overweight / obese could be attributed to the following:

  • There are times where most of us will sooner take the car (even for short journeys), rather than going for a brisk walk
  • Being inactive at work is another culprit but this can be difficult if your job is office based, or something similar
  • Some of us are prone to snacking between meals and this can play its part on gaining a few pounds

It is shocking how easily we can put on weight, especially with all types of modern transport available. A great way of getting your daily quota of exercise is by ditching the car and maybe travelling by bike or on foot instead.

Benefits of exercise for Diabetes sufferers

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes (it doesn’t matter if it was recently or not), there are going to be benefits from doing regular exercise – 30 minutes per day is recommended and you might be wondering exactly what the pros of doing something active are.

These are just a few of the known benefits:

  • Doing anything like walking, running, swimming or cycling are a great way of keeping blood sugar levels under adequate control
  • You are reducing the risk of developing further problems like some cardiovascular diseases and other complications such as strokes or high blood pressure
  • This will help keep your weight under control, which will also work at managing your blood sugar levels more effectively
  • Helps keep your blood pressure at a steady level
  • Diabetes is known to increase bad cholesterol (also known as LDL) but exercise can cause this to drop significantly
  • It can improve circulation and as poor circulation is a well know problem for anyone who suffers from diabetes, this is going to be a great preventative measure

It can safely be said that the benefits of exercising speak for themselves but this is something you have to want to do. With the potential of keeping your diabetes in check, it is going to be worth a bit of time and effort in the long and short term.

Always get medical advice before exercising

This might be a phrase that you have heard a 1000 times but it is recommended and extremely important that you get relevant medical advice before doing any exercise.

Of course, it is going to be good at helping you manage your diabetes, but you want to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself at risk.

Information you need to know during exercise

Prior to doing any exercise, there are a number of points that you will need to consider very carefully so that you are safe during any activity. By bearing in mind the following, this will help you in so many different ways.

  • Always make sure that you drink plenty of water, prior to, during and after any activity
  • During exercise, your blood sugar level can drop and it has been suggested that if this were to measure in at 5.5 mmols/l or less then this could lead to hypoglycaemia occurring. To prevent this, eating something that is high in carbohydrates will rectify the problem
  • Always carry some form of identification during exercising so that should the worst happen and you need medical assistance, the relevant action can be taken

This may seem like pretty obvious points but it is vital that you safeguard yourself as much as possible to prevent anything untoward happening in the first place.

Is there a time when I should not exercise?

You may want to ensure that you never miss a day of exercising but there are going to be specific circumstances where it should be avoided in order to prevent any further problems arising.

These are just a few of the scenarios where exercising is not going to be beneficial or safe:

  • Don’t do any form of exercise if you are suffering from flu or a cold, or maybe something similar like an infection. Any of these are well known to drastically affect control of blood sugar levels.
  • If you have a blood sugar reading of 13 mmols/l – 17 mmols/l then some light exercise might be possible but it is essential that you receive the relevant medical advice beforehand.

Exercising is important for people of all ages and it is definitely not something which should be overlooked. Even by doing something simple, like riding a bike, going for a relaxing swim and just generally taking a stroll in the park will all work towards keeping you blood sugar level lower and under better control.

There is no need to go this alone and if you prefer then you can always do this with someone else. This would be a way of making exercise a bit more fun and you will get into good shape at the same time. 

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