Exercise is most recommended for diabetics. A balanced diet combined with an exercise schedule and the medication regime as prescribed by your physician, is the order for dealing with diabetes. If you are overweight, then the need for correct exercise is all the more important.
Importance of Exercise
Exercise as mentioned earlier, is needed to keep the blood sugar levels under control. Exercise is needed to keep the body weight under control and to burn out excess fat. Exercise helps to control cholesterol and blood pressure. Exercise enhances blood circulation and reduces the chances of getting heart disease. Besides, exercise improves muscle strength and increases bone density. Exercise is helpful to cope with stress. Moreover, exercise serves to protect oneself from several diseases like cancer and improves the quality of life.
Exercise and Blood Sugar Levels
Moderate and continued exercise is useful to lower blood glucose levels. While exercising, the body requires glucose to use as fuel. Moderate and continued exercise requires the release of glucose for the muscles. The muscles use these glucose at 20 times the normal rate. Therefore, the blood glucose levels is maintained.
Also the need for insulin reduces. If you are on insulin medications you will have to balance your exercise, meal time and the medications so that a proper balance is acquired. But an intense exercise do not have the desired effect. There is reduction in blood glucose levels, only to have it rise temporarily once you stop. Avoid exercise if the blood glucose level is above 300mg/dl or below 100 mg/ dl.
Exercise and Insulin
When diabetics exercise properly, they require less insulin. There is rapid absorption of glucose from exercised sites. The insulin also responds effectively. The insulin dosage must therefore be reduced while exercising. Consult with your physician as to how well you can taper the doses. When there is an intensive workout and you are on insulin injections, it can even lead to hypoglycaemia. So it is best to take necessary precautions.
Aerobic exercises are most beneficial, they must increase your heart beat and make you sweat. Some of it include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, skipping etc. Start with a slow pace, increase the pace and the time interval as you move on. It is wise to consult your doctor before you start exercising, as to what will and how much will benefit you.
On an average, 150 minutes of aerobic activity, of moderate intensity is recommended for a week. But household activities do not count here. Avoid sitting or lying down for a long time, as sedentary activities will lead to obesity. Strength training exercises have also been found beneficial for type 2 diabetics. The American Diabetes Association recommends to continue strength training exercise, three times a week.
A diabetic must carefully monitor the blood glucose levels before, during and after an exercise.Always discuss with your physician. If you have heart diseases or diabetic complication, the body will not be able to tolerate intensive exercise. Wear protective foot wear. Drink plenty of fluids. Prolonged exercise can stimulate the body to release adrenalin and other hormones in response to stress, and can increase your blood sugar levels.