Diabetes is a disease that can sap your energy, but getting out and getting on the move with exercise can help increase energy and improve your symptoms.
The American Diabetes Association recommends
any kind of physical activity can positively affect blood glucose levels. Low-impact activities or even putting more activity into your daily routine can improve overall health and prevent other potentially life-threatening complications of diabetes.
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However, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting any fitness program. If you have diabetes, exercise programs may have an effect on the medications prescribed to regulate blood sugar. A doctor can advise you about what kinds of blood sugar levels are best before beginning exercise and during any workout and how to regulate medication accordingly.
One of the reasons exercise is so beneficial for diabetics is that the contraction of muscles during physical activity actually helps make up for a body’s lack of insulin production by allowing cells to access and use excess sugar in the blood. This phenomenon is one reason strength training is recommended by the American Diabetes Association. Twice weekly strength training in addition to other types of exercises will help build the muscles that can lower blood glucose. Strength training does not mean you have to lift weights at the gym. It can involve doing many activities at home, including gardening or lifting objects like water bottles. Stretches, lunges and squats can also increase strength.
Mayo Clinic doctors advise 150 minutes of “moderately intense” exercise
every week. It is a wise choice to check blood sugar before exercising to make sure your blood sugar levels do not dip.
Among good exercise choices are swimming, brisk walking and biking. Other low-impact sports like tennis, rowing or cross-country skiing are also good choices. Hobby activities like gardening and dancing can also help.
For a patient striving to get in 30 minutes of exercise a day, it is not necessary to do it all at one time. Two blocks of 15 minute exercise time can be just as beneficial as a single 30 minute block.
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