Exercise is an important part of diabetes management, but it’s not the only strategy that can help you manage your disease. In fact, physical activity can have a number of benefits for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes—including lowering blood glucose levels, preventing complications associated with heart disease and stroke, reducing the risk of developing kidney disease, and preventing weight gain.
Physical activity can help with diabetes management
Physical activity can help manage diabetes. When you’re physically active, your body’s sensitivity to insulin increases, and glucose is absorbed into cells more efficiently. This can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Physical activity also helps you maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity, which is associated with an increased risk of developing complications from diabetes.
Most people with diabetes have type 2. In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, and/or the body’s cells are resistant to the effects of insulin. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being used for energy or stored in muscles and fat cells as glycogen (a form of carbohydrate). When this happens regularly over time, it can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney failure.
Exercise helps lower blood glucose levels by increasing insulin sensitivity–the ability of your cells to take up glucose from your bloodstream–and reducing how much insulin you need each day. It also helps prevent type 2 diabetes by improving cardiovascular fitness and lowering cholesterol levels, both risk factors for developing this condition.
When you’re physically active, your body’s sensitivity to insulin increases
When you’re physically active, your body’s sensitivity to insulin increases. As a result, your muscles and organs are able to take up more glucose–a type of sugar found in food–from the blood and use it for energy. As a result, less glucose builds up in your bloodstream and causes blood sugar levels to rise.
Insulin resistance is when your body doesn’t respond well to insulin (a hormone that allows cells in the body access to glucose). When this happens, it can lead to type 2 diabetes or prediabetes if left untreated. Regular exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity by increasing muscle mass, which helps burn off excess fat stores as well as reduce inflammation throughout the body
Reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease
Exercise has been shown to:
- Reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
- Helps to lower blood pressure.
- Help to reduce weight (by burning calories). This can help you control your weight, which is important for controlling diabetes and reducing your risk of complications from the disease.
Exercise also helps reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by increasing “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides; it does this by increasing muscle mass, reducing fat stores, improving insulin sensitivity (which helps lower blood sugar levels), and reducing stress hormones that cause inflammation in the body (which can lead to damage to your organs).
Lower risk of developing complications
Physical activity can help prevent or delay the development of diabetes-related complications by lowering your blood sugar levels and improving your body’s response to insulin. It also helps you lose weight, which reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions that often occur with diabetes.
Examples of complications: Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage)
- This condition causes numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, as well as pain when exposed to cold temperatures. It may also lead to other problems such as muscle weakness or loss of sensation in the feet so that they don’t feel pain when they’re injured or sore from walking on hard surfaces such as concrete sidewalks, causing not only physical harm but also financial losses due to medical bills from injuries caused by lack of awareness about them until after they’ve occurred!
Physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight and prevents obesity
The most important reason to exercise is that it helps you maintain a healthy weight, which in turn can prevent diabetes. Physical activity can also help you lose weight if you’re overweight or obese and improve your overall health.
Aerobic activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, and dancing may be the best forms of physical activity for helping people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels because they raise metabolism (the rate at which your body burns calories) and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol while lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Strength training exercises like lifting weights or using resistance bands can strengthen muscles so they use less glucose for energy during exercise compared with fat tissue; this helps keep blood glucose levels under control after eating meals high in carbohydrate content such as pasta or bread made from white flour products such as bagels or muffins made from foods like corn syrup
Exercise reduces A1C levels
Exercise has been found to reduce A1C levels by as much as 1%. This is important because A1C levels are used to diagnose diabetes and monitor treatment. A1C is a blood test that measures average blood glucose levels over the past 2-3 months. In other words, it gives you an idea of how well your body is lowering high blood sugar after eating a meal or drinking some juice.
A good target range for most people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is 7% or less; however, many doctors recommend aiming for an A1C level below 6%. Some research suggests that exercising regularly may help keep your A1C between 5% and 6%. This could reduce your risk of complications such as heart disease and stroke by 50%.
Physical activity may delay the progression of type 2 diabetes
Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This can delay the progression of type 2 diabetes.
In addition to its role in managing blood glucose levels, physical activity may also help you maintain a healthy heart and lungs by lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. Exercise has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, and dyslipidemia (elevated triglycerides).
Regular physical activity also improves brain function by increasing blood flow to the brain. This supports normal cognitive functioning as well as reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia later in life.
We hope this article has helped you understand the importance of physical activity for diabetes management. Physical activity can help you manage your blood glucose levels and prevent complications from developing in the future. It also reduces your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. If you’re concerned about weight gain or obesity, exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight rather than becoming obese over time.