Benefits of Exercise for People With Diabetes

Regular exercise is especially important for a person with
diabetes. It helps with blood sugar control, weight loss, and high blood
pressure. People with diabetes who exercise are less likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than diabetics who not exercise regularly, generally helps control blood glucose
levels, Exercise also helps insulin to work better.

Aerobics and anaerobic both types of exercises are
beneficial. while aerobic exercise works to lower blood sugar better, the benefits of anaerobic activities such as weight training are important too. For maximum
benefit, aerobic exercise should be done 3 to 5 minutes a week, for 20-30 minutes each time. If a person taking insulin
then it is easier to balance his blood glucose levels if he exercise at the same time of day.
An important study reported a 58% lower risk for type 2 diabetes in adults who performed moderate exercise for as little as 2.5 hours a week. Others suggest that the risk is reduced in overweight people, even if they don’t lose weight.
Regular aerobic exercise, even of moderate intensity, improves insulin sensitivity.

People with diabetes are at particular risk for heart disease, so the heart protective effects of aerobic exercise are very important for this patient population.
Moderate exercise, in fact, protects the heart in people with type 2 diabetes, even if they have no risk factors for heart disease other than diabetes itself. Strength training, which increases muscle and reduces fat, may be particularly helpful for people with diabetes, but evidence is needed to confirm this. One study reported that yoga helped patients with type 2 diabetes reduce their need for oral medications.

Some Precautions for People With Diabetes Who Exercise

The following are precautions for all people with diabetes, whether type 1 or 2:

Because people with diabetes are at higher than average risk for heart disease, they should always check with their physicians before undertaking vigorous exercise.

For best and fastest results, frequent high-intensity (not high-impact) exercises are best for people who are cleared by their physicians. For people who have been sedentary or have other medical problems, lower-intensity exercises are recommended using regimens designed with physicians.

Strenuous strength training or high-impact exercise is not recommended for people with uncontrolled diabetes. Such exercised exercises can strain weakened blood vessels in the eyes of patients with retinopathy. High-impact exercise may also injure blood vessels in the feet.
Patients who are taking medications that lower blood glucose, particularly insulin, should take special precautions before embarking on a workout program.

Glucose levels swing dramatically during exercise, people with diabetes should monitor their levels carefully before, during, and after workouts.
Patients should probably avoid exercise if glucose levels are above 300 mg/dL or under 100 mg/dL.

To avoid hypoglycemia, diabetics should inject insulin in sites away from the muscles they use the most during exercise.

They should also drink plenty of fluids. Before exercising, they should also avoid alcohol, which increases the risk of hypoglycemia.

Insulin-dependent athletes may need to decrease insulin doses or take in more carbohydrates prior to exercise but may need to take an extra dose of insulin after exercise. Stress hormones released during exercise may increase blood glucose levels, in non-diabetics insulin is released to control this. The diabetic therefore needs to test their blood sugar and take an extra dose as instructed by their diabetes health care provider.

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