Diabetes and Exercise

by Andrew Mills


Diabetes is a disease in which the blood sugar levels are quite high as compared to the normal levels. This condition gives rise to a lot of risk and complications in terms of heart diseases, retinopathy, kidney damages, infections, gangrene, etc. Thus, treating diabetes becomes very crucial for the well-being and long life of a diabetic person.

Diet and exercise are the two main ways in which diabetes can be treated and controlled. Diabetes and exercise should be two non-separative factors. The role of exercise in diabetes is very important since it helps to control the body weight thereby reducing the blood sugar levels. By way of regular exercise for diabetics, it lowers the risk of heart related complications. Exercise for diabetics helps them feel fit and healthy on the whole.

If you are a diabetic and exercise is not a part of regime, then talk to your doctor. The doctor can advise the kind and type of exercise that is appropriate for you. If you have any other diseases like hypertension or other health issues, your coach or doctor may recommend you to avoid certain types of exercises. Aerobic exercises like walking, cycling, jogging, brisk walking is recommended for diabetics since it makes one breathe heavily and more deeply. Swimming, rowing, bicycling or chair movement can be the exercise for diabetics who have feet-related problems/ infections. Wearing shoes is necessary for a diabetic while doing exercise. Care should be taken to ensure there are no blisters or infections while exercising.

A warm up before starting the exercise and cooling back to normal after the exercise is over is a must for exercise for diabetics. This can last for 5-10 minutes before and after the exercise. A diabetic can increase the duration of exercise regularly over a period of time. Diabetes and exercise transforms the way the body reacts to insulin. The role of exercise in diabetes is imperative since it makes the body more sensitive to insulin. A word of caution is that the blood glucose levels may droop leading to hypoglycemia while or after doing the exercise. Hence, it is advisable to check the blood sugar levels before and after doing the exercise. Keep some small snack handy that will help if the blood sugar levels become too low. In case it is too high or low, it is better to stop at this stage. Another, word of caution is to consume a lot of drink or fluid so that diabetes and exercise together do not result in dehydration.

Obesity is a common feature amongst type 2 diabetics. Hence, the role of exercise in diabetes becomes all the more important since burning the calories is the thrust area. Apart from all this, simply being active and energetic throughout the day helps a great deal to combat excess fats and calories. Lastly, constantly measure the progress made in terms of blood sugar levels, body mass index (BMI) and regular tests for identifying if there are any other complications.


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