STARTING EXERCISE AS A DIABETIC
If Diabetes affects you or someone you know then it may be common knowledge to yourself that exercise should be a regular habit, however, that is not always the case (1).
If you are exercising regularly, well done and keep it up, but if you're not then it may seem daunting to start!
Getting started can be the hardest step, but exercise does not have to be as extreme as you may think. Walking, cycling, swimming, chores around the house, such as gardening are among many activities that can be a great place to start (2).
Exercise Tip… Exercise should be fun and there is more chance you will make exercise a habit if you enjoy it. Don't go chasing the next best thing but more importantly find what you enjoy doing and make it part of your lifestyle.
So How Does Exercise Help Diabetes?
Diabetes makes it really hard for the body to control your blood sugar (the energy source glucose within your bloodstream) . That's why it's really important to make an effort to keep active to help control your blood sugar levels. As a result of exercise, your blood sugar will be more stable throughout the day. By exercising we are countering insulin resistance (whens cells don't respond well to the hormone insulin), improving the body's sensitivity to insulin and improving the uptake of glucose by upto 40% in some cases (3,4).
Simply put, your body uses the food it consumes more efficiently with the help of insulin. Insulin really helps with the uptake of carbohydrates into cells that need it, most notably muscle cells.
Additionally, exercise can aid in weight loss and other important health factors such as reduction of cholesterol, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and reducing the risk of heart disease is also possible with regular exercise (2,5,6,).
Check with your doctor or whomever you receive professional advice off before starting exercise. Don't feel the need to go from 0 to 100, start slow and gradually build up the amount of exercise you perform.