Diabetes and Exercise

There are about 23.6 million people with diabetes in America, and about 6 million that don’t even know they have it. Diabetes is a disease that requires daily maintenance of checking glucose levels and keeping them at a healthy level. Insulin is an anabolic hormone created by the pancreas to help the cells in the liver, fat tissue and muscles absorb glucose. Exercise is a great way to control insulin sensitivity.

Type 1 Diabetes and Exercise

People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin, so they require daily injections of insulin. Your doctor will prescribe you with which insulin is best for you. Sometimes, two types of insulin will be required; it just depends on what is best for your body.

Exercise is crucial for those with Type 1 because it keeps the heart healthy, helps to keep you at a healthy weight and it lowers cholesterol. It is important to closely monitor your blood glucose levels, so that you know which exercises are keeping your levels steady.

Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise

In Type 2 diabetes the body becomes resistant to insulin even though the pancreas still produces it. If you are able to control your diabetes through exercise and diet, you most likely will not need insulin injections. Not only does an exercise lower blood glucose level, but it makes you insulin resistant, which lessens your need for insulin. It is important to check glucose levels regularly to prevent hypoglycemia. This is when the glucose levels are low compared to insulin levels. If you feel faint, hungry, dizzy or moody eat something right away, and if you are exercising, stop immediately.

Aerobic Exercise and Its Effects

The best way to increase insulin sensitivity is through aerobic activity. You should try to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week. It can be walking, running, swimming, cycling or an aerobics class as long as you are moving to increase oxygen levels. Of course medications are helpful in delaying diabetes, but exercise and a healthy diet are most effective. Tests have shown that those who exercise, eat healthy, take their medicine and reduce their weight from five to ten percent have been able to reduce their diabetes by 58%. Make sure you ask your doctor before beginning any exercise. And remember, it is important to find something that is fun for you because it makes for a long term commitment.

Victoria K. enjoys writing about insulin dependent diabetes.

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