Now on to exercise and diabetes; ready, set, go! Now, finally we are on to exercise. Don’t despair that we lost time. All the information we learned are just basic background material before proceeding to exercise. As a matter of fact, most of the information were cut down to the bare minimum. That is why they will be presented in more detail later.
Let’s dig deeper regarding exercise and diabetes with sugar and insulin action. The question is what does exercise do to sugar and insulin? An experiment was conducted exactly on this. A patient was given 10 units of regular insulin. Then his blood sugar was monitored as it lowered. On another day he was given the same amount of insulin but was asked to exercise. Do you know what happened?
You’re right again! The blood sugar dropped considerably. Why? The insulin was absorbed more readily during exercise which in turn lowered the blood sugar level. In addition the exercising muscle sucked up the sugar molecules for energy. This is how exercise and diabetes work together.
Although this experiment showed how exercise and diabetes can help the insulin in the treatment, there’s a caveat. Those who do the same must plan accordingly. It is important you have all the bases covered. It is imperative you do the following:
1. Think of when the exercise will occur. When the exercise is done at peak insulin effect, the blood sugar level will probably be very low.
2. How long will the exercise be? The longer exercise will have a lower blood sugar level effect. Here’s exercise and diabetes at work again.
3. What is the intensity of the exercise? The tougher the physical exertion, the lower is the effect on the blood sugar level.
4. What carbohydrate snacks will you bring? This is crucial for no matter how well you plan the exercise, hypoglycemia is lurking in the shadows. It is best to be prepared when it appears its unwelcome presence. Go away, you. Pop in a Graham cracker or two, to avoid and treat it. Then laugh for he who laughs last laughs the best.
It’s time for good news. We’ve been very good trying to absorb all this information. Type 2 diabetes people who exercise on a regular basis have better blood sugar level control. This is because the body’s sensitivity to insulin is improved. Now you’ve seen the relationship between exercise and diabetes.
The lowering of blood sugar level is quicker with regular physical exercise. The cholesterol and triglyceride levels improve as well. This is very important because people with diabetes are at a higher risk for heart problems.
Now let’s check up on the reduction of risk for developing diabetes for here is another good news. Will exercise reduce your risk of developing diabetes? It’s no to Type 1 diabetes; exercise just helps in its treatment. But for Type 2 diabetes? Are you sitting down? Well grab a chair for this is extremely good news. With regular exercise, you are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. There we go again, exercise and diabetes at work.
Swedish researchers studied people with mild or borderline diabetes for six years. The subjects received advice regarding diet and half of them went on a walking program for two hours a week. The other half did not exercise. When the research ended only half of the walkers had diabetes. You see? There’s hope for all of us.
Now let’s go back to the research and ponder on the issue of how exercise prevents diabetes. Well even after six weeks, signs showed insulin was more effective. The body becomes more responsive to insulin action so much so that sugar is removed from the blood stream more efficiently, stabilizing the sugar blood level. On top of this, regular exercise can prevent the weight gain that creeps up one to two pounds a year starting at age 21. Exercise and diabetes, no doubt they're related.
Bottom line? With weight gain under control and improving the insulin efficiency, there’s nowhere else to go but to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. I’m sure by now you no longer need any proof as to the relationship between exercise and diabetes.
What are the reasons for using exercise in treating Type 2 diabetes? With each exercise, insulin is improved due to better absorption of insulin, making it easier for the blood sugar to enter into the muscles. After 2 to 4 months of regular exercise, the body becomes more responsive to lower blood sugar level which makes it possible to treat diabetes. And there are additional benefits because the risk for heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure goes down too.
Exercise to prevent Type 2 diabetes, did I read this right? Of course for this is the most important part of this section. Preventing diabetes is easier with exercise. The type that can be prevented the most comes with being inactive and overweight. Inactive and obese people show elevated blood sugar levels at times of stress.
Prevention of Type 2 diabetes can be realized with regular exercise especially if combined with a healthy diet. So if you find you are a high risk of developing diabetes, get cracking and start eating right and exercising. But start early for you lose the chance to prevent once you develop it. What you will have left then is to treat it. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
To prevent diabetes, you need to exercise 30 minutes four times a week. This is enough for prevention but once you develop diabetes, it’s a different story. You will have to treat it and exercise then to be adequate will have to be done every day. So it makes sense to start before you develop it. Right?
You gain extra benefits, health-wise and losing weight with more exercise so do the extra exercise even though we know that 20 minutes a day three times a week is enough to improve your physical ability. A study shows though that two hours of weekly workout lowers the risk to develop diabetes by 50%. Here’s your chance to improve the Type 2 diabetes statistics.
If you have diabetes, it is best to see your health care team before exercising especially if your exercise of choice is more than walking. Besides, those who have had diabetes for five years have a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. It is therefore important to have a careful examination. Your kidneys, heart, eyes, and nervous system will be indicated in your medical history and physical examination. This will lead to the wise decision about the type and how much exercise you will be doing.
Do we need advice before exercise? In one word, yes. Why? Because diabetes, if uncontrolled, can lead to diseases that can raise the risk of exercise. Let me give you an example. Diabetes can cause heart rhythm irregularities and for this, it is crucial to know when not to exercise. So go and ask your health care provider for advice or exam.
The exam will lead you to the type and amount of exercise that you can safely do. Here’s another example. Again, if left unchecked, diabetes can lead to an eye problem called proliferate retinopathy. While this condition is not stabilized you will have to exercise (no pun intended) extreme caution in your exercise plan.
Why am I not surprised that you want to know the reason behind the extreme caution? High-impact exercise could lead to bleeding in the retina and this may result in blindness. We don’t want that. The best exercise in this situation are the low-impact ones like walking and slow jogging.
Review Exercise and Diabetes? or Diabetes Diets?
Here’s the summary for the cautionary measures. If you answer yes to one of the following questions, don’t exercise until you have seen your doctor or sought his advice:
1. Has your eye condition gotten worse all of a sudden?
2. Do you feel chest discomfort with physical exertion or even when you’re at rest?
3. Do you have problem breathing when you exercise? Exercise? Didn’t I say don’t exercise until you’ve seen your doctor? Sorry for yelling, but I just don’t want anything wrong to happen to you.
4. Do you feel pain in your legs when you walk?
5. Are there sores in your feet that are not getting better?
6. Is your blood sugar out of whack?
7. Do you become lightheaded when you exercise?
Here's a video on the Pre-Diabetes Conference held in Barcelona. Listen and pick up something you can do to beat diabetes:
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MEDICAL SCREENING BEFORE EXERCISE
Before you start your exercise regime, here’s the list of medical screening you should undergo:
1. Blood glucose (hemoglobin A1C) levels
2. Eye exam to check your retina.
3. Inspect extremities especially the feet.
4. Nervous system exam to check for any nerve damage
5. Urinalysis to make sure about protein and sugar
6. Kidney function tests to check for blood urea nitrogen and creatinine
7. Measure body composition to check percentage of body fat
1. Check blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
2. Have an electrocardiogram or EKG.
3. Evaluate pulses in the neck, groin and feet.
4. Have an exercise test if you have heart disease and two of the cardiac risk factors, and if you’re over 40.
I hope you’re now sold to the idea about the relationship between exercise and diabetes. Please get started; don’t let the cautionary measures scare you. There’s always slow-walking while waiting for the go-ahead signal from your health care team.
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