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Exercise and Diabetes

Exercise plays a key role in the management of diabetes. Even if you haven’t set foot in a gym or find it difficult to stick to a routine, adding something into your day can make a significant impact. Do not let the idea of creating a new routine overwhelm you. Begin with something as simple as walking and as you get more comfortable with physical activity, increase the amount you do or try different types of activities. Set small goals and you will notice that little changes can make a difference in your diabetes management.

Exercise provides many important benefits for people who have diabetes. Regular physical activity helps control weight, decrease blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol (harmful kind), and triglycerides; and increase HDL cholesterol (helpful kind), strengthen muscles and bones, and decrease anxiety. The additional benefits for those with diabetes are lowering blood glucose levels and boosting your body’s sensitivity to insulin, offsetting insulin resistance.

Many studies have shown that all forms of exercise such as aerobic conditioning and resistance training are both equally as good at lowering HbA1c levels in people with diabetes. Walking at least a couple hours a week has been shown to decrease heart disease deaths in those with diabetes. The risk was cut even more, as the amount of exercise increased.

Exercise, medication and diet all play a major role in your diabetes management. If this is something new, start slowly and listen to your body. It is important to be safe and test your blood sugar levels before and after exercising, if you are taking insulin. Do not wait another day! It is never too late to start making a positive impact on your health. Get started at HealthFit with a variety of health and fitness professionals who can educate and motivate you along the way.


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