Regular exercise helps lower your blood sugar levels and reduces your risk of diabetes-related complications.
Do you feel like you are hitting a brick wall? You have been eating well and taking your medicine or insulin as directed. But you can't seem to get your blood sugar levels as low as your doctor wants. A crucial element may be missing from your diabetes management plan: Exercise.
How exercise helps diabetes
If you have diabetes, your body either does not make enough insulin or it can't use the insulin
it makes. But when you exercise, your body becomes more responsive to insulin. It takes less insulin to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. Exercise helps the body move sugar to where it's supposed to go - the cells - instead of lingering in the blood.
Better blood sugar control does not end when the treadmill stops. Your body reaps these health benefits during your workout and for several hours after. Over time, exercise may help people with type 2 diabetes reverse their resistance to insulin. This is because physical activity helps the cells better respond to insulin.
The health benefits
Being physically active has many benefits. Because you have diabetes, you're at greater risk for other complications in the long run. This includes heart and kidney disease, and nerve and eye damage. Exercise can help cut the risk of these diseases, too. Regular exercise leads to:
-Better blood sugar control
-Lower blood pressure and bad (LDL) cholesterol
-Higher good (HDL) cholesterol
-Weight loss (if you are overweight)
-Reduced stress levels
-Stronger heart, muscles and bones
Watch your blood sugar closely
People with diabetes need to be extra careful when they exercise. Always test your blood sugar before you start your workout. Then test it again during and after exercise. This will help you see what effect physical activity has on your body.
Do not exercise if your blood sugar is too low or too high. Your doctor can tell you the safe range of blood sugar levels for exercise. It is very important to know safe blood sugar levels for exercise when you take insulin or other diabetes medications.