Diabetics being healthy with exercise

Posted on May 07, 2020 at 05AM

The Importance Of Exercise

It’s a good idea to stay in shape when you diabetic

For people with diabetes, the importance of exercise cannot be overstated. Yes, taking your medicine as prescribed by the doctor and sticking to your meal plans will go a long way to keep it in check, but exercising will have far more benefits. A regular exercise routine will help control your weight, lower the harmful LDL cholesterol and also lower your blood pressure, among others. It also helps to reduce the blood glucose levels and the body’s sensitivity to insulin. When people are told to exercise, many of them feel intimidated, and imagine that it means that they need to do extensive things such as run a marathon or do bench presses. However, this is farther from the truth. Exercising generally means that you need to be physically active, and includes simple things such as going for a jog or climbing the stairs. Below is a guide on the importance of exercise to people with diabetes. Read on;

Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells fail to respond to insulin. This is what causes diabetes as the glucose in the blood builds up, and you get a high sugar reading. This is where exercising comes in. Doing some running or walking outside will help the body to use the insulin it produces or that which you inject into the body efficiently. This way, the fat cells can use the sugar present in the blood when you are doing your workouts. Also, muscles that are working usually use up more glucose than those that are resting. This muscle movement will lead to higher sugar uptake by the cells, and therefore your blood sugar levels will be lowered.

Exercise also boosts the immune system and helps protect against heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes are more susceptible to heart disease as their arteries may become blocked, which can lead to a heart attack or even stroke. Doing regular physical activities help keep the heart healthy and keep it strong. Also, it helps you maintain your good cholesterol (HDL); this way, you will be able to avoid the high cholesterol that causes the buildup of plaque. This plaque may block blood from passing effortlessly through the arteries.

Being active will also help you lose weight and also keep it off once you have lost it. With the loss of weight, your body will be more productive, and you will find moving around to be much easier. Some of the other benefits of exercising for people of diabetes include:

• It will help improve your mood and sleep. With better sleep, your body will be at its optimum, and at a better position of fighting the disease.

• It also helps to improve mental health. Diabetes and depression tend to be linked, and one of the ways to avoid this is to do some exercise. Exercising will help to reverse these depression symptoms, and you will note that you are in high spirits.

• It will lower the blood glucose levels(BGLs), while you are exercising, and also after you are done.

• It helps improve your muscle strength and bone mass.

• exercising also helps protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

The great thing about exercising is that you do not need to break the bank to get started. It is free! Also, you can do it at any time of the day or night, whatever you choose. With this, you do not need to complicate things, and you can begin as soon as you are ready. Even for people who are not passionate about keeping active, you cannot run out of activities to do.

When exercising, there are some things that you need to take into account. You need to ensure that you are doing it right to reap the benefits. One of the tips is to ensure that you talk to your health care professional before embarking on this journey. It is essential to ensure that you are safe and that they have given their OK. Tell them what you plan to do and how long you will be doing it. Based on your treatment, they will be able to evaluate you and see whether it is a good idea to start exercising. They will also check to see if you will need to change your meals or medicines. If they do not give their approval, do not start working out, as you may worsen your condition.

Another essential tip that you need to take note of is to ensure that you check your blood sugar levels. If your workout will last for more than an hour, it is advised to check the blood sugar levels regularly, throughout the exercise. This will help you to know whether you need to eat something to give you a boost. Also, ensure that you check your blood sugar levels after every workout, to see if you should make any changes.

You may ask yourself how much exercise is too much, and what is recommended. It is advised to do regular exercise routines for at least thrice a week. This should add up to a total of 150 minutes per week. Therefore, once you hit this target, you are good to go. It is also advised to switch things up by incorporating both resistance training and aerobics to your workouts. This will make your routines more productive and more beneficial to you.

Brisk walking is a crucial exercise that many people take lightly. It has numerous benefits to people with diabetes, and should not be ignored. If you do not have an exercise routine already in place, you can start simple with going for walks. The great thing about this is that you only need a good pair of shoes, water and you are ready to go. It is advised to do brisk walking at a pace that will raise your heart rate. You can walk for around 30 minutes a day for maybe five days a week, to get to the recommended 150 minutes goal of moderate-intensity exercising.

Weight training is also crucial for everyone, even people with diabetes. Many people overlook it and avoid it, but it should be embraced. It helps to build mass, which is vital, especially for people who have type 2 diabetes. It is quite hard to maintain your blood sugar levels when you are losing muscle mass; therefore, weight training is the answer. You can slot in this exercise for at least twice a week. You can lift some weights or even work with resistance bands. You can also do some strength training exercises such as lunges, push-ups and squats, as they use your body weight.

It is also recommended to do some aerobic activity as part of your exercise routine. Aim for at least thirty minutes for this. You can start small, and add a few minutes each day until you are comfortable to work out for 30 minutes continuously. You can also increase your time once you get to the 30-minute mark, to help your body adapt to the changes. Some of the aerobic activities that you can partake in include swimming, hiking, playing tennis and running. Swimming is highly encouraged, especially for people with type 2 diabetes as it does not pressure the joints. Type 2 diabetes can cause foot complications such as neuropathy, which can cause you to lose feeling in the feet. To protect yourself, you can wear water shoes while swimming. You can also adjust your day to day activities, for example, using the stairs, instead of the elevator.

Yoga is also a vital exercise that can come in handy to people with diabetes. It helps to reduce stress and manage the disease. Since higher stress levels lead to higher blood sugar levels, it is advised to do yoga to help you relax. The great thing about yoga is that you can do it as many times in the day as you please, with no side effects. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Also, it helps to lessen depressive symptoms in diabetic patients.

Exercising is useless if you do not eat the right foods. Without eating balanced meals, your efforts will go to waste, and you will not be gaining anything from your workouts, which can be quite devastating. To maximize your energy for your workouts, you need to eat healthy meals that are a balance of fruits, non-starchy vegetables, lean meat and whole grains. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to add extra carbohydrates to your meal plans, unless you are exercising for more than an hour. You can continue with your daily carbohydrate intake. Also, remember to eat within thirty minutes to two hours of you finishing your routine. Ensure that you also do not skip meals as it will increase your chances of getting low blood glucose levels.

When it comes to exercise, you need to choose what suits you best. Remember that everyone is different, and their bodies are tailored differently. Therefore, exercise routines that work for your friend may not work for you. A way to do this is to evaluate yourself and see what workout will benefit you the most. You do not even have to go to the gym if that’s not your cup of tea. Instead, you can do other exercises at home, such as dancing, swimming and sports. As long as the activity raises your heart rate, you are good to go. Also, know your body, and know when to stop. If your muscles are mildly sore, that is expected. However, if you note that you have sudden pain, stop immediately. You need to ensure that you are safe while working out.

If you are on insulin or oral diabetes medication, you have to take some precautions. If you note that your blood sugar level is less than 5.5 mmol/l before you begin exercising, then take a carbohydrate snack before starting your workout. Also, if you note that the sugar levels are higher than that before exercising, then you will not need a snack before beginning the session. However, you might need some carbohydrates during or after the exercise. Always check to see if your blood sugar has dipped below four mmol/l after your routine workout. It is also advised always to wear an ID that will identify you as someone with diabetes. This will be vital in case anything happens to you while you are exercising alone, and you need help.

Hyperglycemia is a condition where you have high blood sugar. It is caused by having too little insulin, to counteract the overproduction of sugar by the liver. If you are suffering from hyperglycemia, it is advised to avoid exercising if your blood sugar level is above 13 mmol/l. You can take some time off and rest until when your BGLs have returned to the normal range. You are also advised to increase your fluid intake to ensure that you do not suffer from dehydration. Also, in case you have hypoglycemia, which is a condition where your blood sugar levels are significantly low, it is advised to carry treatment with you, such as glucose tablets, to increase your levels.

When it comes to exercising, it is crucial to have someone who will keep you accountable. This is crucial since you may find yourself slacking off while working out alone. Having a partner will also make fitness fun, and you will be able to encourage each other. You can ask a friend to check in with you regularly to keep you on your feet, and to give you the motivation to keep going on.

When it comes to exercising, there is nothing like saying that you are too busy to do it. You can do it at any time and any place, with whatever you have. As seen above, exercising is crucial to diabetic people and will have a significant impact on keeping the disease in check. So, if you are sitting on your couch wondering when you will start, do so now. A few minutes of physical activity will do wonders for your body and health. Try it out today!

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