Exercise is a vital part of the management of diabetes. All diabetics should aim to make exercise a part of their daily routine. Exercise can help to improve the quality of life for diabetics. But there are some safeguards to consider before you start an exercise regime. It is wise to consult your health professional before you begin. This would be true for anyone, but it is especially so for someone who suffers from diabetes.
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 usually manifests itself at an early age. It is sometimes referred to as adolescent diabetes. In Type 1 the body cannot produce enough of its own insulin. Type 2 diabetes manifests itelf later in life. In Type 2 diabetes the body fails to produce adequate levels of insulin or it becomes resistant to its own insulin.
In both types of diabetes the body is unable to process sugar properly. Blood sugar levels increase because the body cannot transport sugar to the cells where it is needed. It becomes essential to reduce blood sugar levels. This can be done by medication, by diet and by exercise.
Exercise can, therefore, be a valuable tool in diabetes management. This is true for both types of diabetes. Whether an individual has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes they can benefit from exercise.
Type 1 diabetics will benefit from exercise because it can assist in the maintainance of insulin sensitivity and increases the use of glucose by the muscles. Exercise will also help to avoid excessive weight gain. Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured, but some of the health problems associated with it can be reduced by means of exercise.
Type 2 diabetics will also benefit from exercise. Type 2 diabetes is preventable and exercise will help in its prevention. Even such a simple activity as a 30 minute walk every day can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
To sum up: exercise will reduce blood sugar levels and help maintain insulin sensitivity. It will also improve circulation. This is important for diabetics because they are known to have circulatory problems. Diabetics often suffer from poor circulation in the legs and feet. Exercise helps to promote blood circulation. Regular exercise will also help to lower blood pressure and so reduce the risk of stroke.
There are, however, certain risks associated with exercise for diabetics. Since exercise lowers blood sugar diabetics must measure their blood sugar levels before and after exercise. The body will use more sugar during exercise and become more sensitive to insulin. Exercise can potentially result in hypoglycemia. Checking blood sugar levels will avoid this danger. With this precaution the benefits of exercise will outweigh the possible risks.
A diabetic should also take care to carry candy or fruit juice with them during exercise in case their blood sugar falls too low. They should make sure to inform the staff at the gym or their exericise partners that they are diabetic. An exericse buddy is a good idea for anyone but doubly so for a diabetic. Exercising with a friend can help maintain your motivation and for a diabetic it can help avoid the dangers of your blood sugar falling too low.
Watch out for the tell tale signs of low blood sugar level. Check your heart rate after exercise. Are you sweating abnormally, shaking, or feeling very hungry? These can all be signs of low blood sugar.
The general rule for everyone beginning exercise is to take things slowly. For diabetics this should be emphasised. Build up your routine as your level of fitness improves. Set yourself realistic goals. Begin with short sessions of gentle exercise. Gradually move on to more ambitious targets are you feel confident to do so. There is not need to push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Little and often is the best plan.
Successful incorporation of exercise into your daily routine will significantly improve your quality of life as a diabetic. It will help you manage your condition and avoid many of the health problems associated with diabetes.