Exercises for Diabetic Patients

Diabetes is one of the world’s deadliest diseases and more often, it doesn’t just come in one blow; rather, it slowly consumes your body, fills your system with complication until your body succumbed to its claws.

Diabetes is a chronic disease. It happens when pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin. Insulin is defined as the hormone that regulates the blood sugar in the body. Hyperglycemia happens when blood sugar are raised while hypoglycemia happens when blood sugar dips low.

Uncontrolled diabetes can result to damaged nerves and even blood vessels in a long time. The two types of diabetes, the Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes has been affecting the whole world and two of the most known diabetes types.

Diabetes can’t be cured but it can be managed. Of which exercise can be one of the major factors that can help. We will discuss exercise later, for now, let’s get into ten fast facts on diabetes.

10 Fast Facts on Diabetes

Here some fast facts on diabetes, its severity and how it can affect lives.

  • Exercise and physical activity can prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes affects 347 million people around the world. It has been called a global epidemic already. This increase in the diabetes cases has been attributed by most medical experts to the rise of obesity, overweight and sedentary lifestyle.
  • Two major forms of diabetes, the type 1 and type 2 which is mentioned above. Type 1 is caused by lack of insulin while type 2 is caused by ineffective use of insulin.
  • Diabetes is 7th in the world’s leading cause of death by 2030.
  • Diabetes can be in the form of gestational diabetes which happens during pregnancy.
  • Diabetes caused rise in cardiovascular death.
  • The world has more type 2 diabetes than type 1.
  • Diabetes can cause visual problems, amputation and kidney problems.
  • 3.4 million people died from high fasting blood sugar in 2004.
  • Diabetes prevalence are high in people aged 35 to 64 and have higher death rates among third world countries.

But don’t get so downhearted yet nor panic at the mention of above facts. Diabetes can surely be prevented and can be managed. And with the advent of technology today, lots of studies and researches have been on the lookout on how to properly address the epidemic.On some little ways, many diabetics have tried to manage their condition through diets, a couple of medication and of course a well planned exercise routine.

Effect of Exercise in Sugar Levels


If exercise is one of the key, how can you start your exercise routine and go far from diabetes complications? What’s with exercise anyway? Insulin is normally release from the pancreas when the sugar in the blood is increased. This can happen after eating. The reason behind is the insulin, the hormone, stimulates the liver and the muscles to glug in the excess glucose or sugar. This lowers the blood sugar in the system.

When exercising, your body works. Thus it needs more energy for the body and for the muscles. This energy is often in the form of glucose. So the more movement you do, like walking from one place to another, a sprint to the bus, your muscles has the tendency to release the sugar for fuel to the muscles and the liver. This has been the reason why exercise can help.

Moderate exercising if continuously done, can consume glucose 20 times more than the normal rate. This happening can lower blood sugar levels. This can also drop the insulin which helps reduce the chances of hypoglycemia.

Though as said, it should be MODERATE exercising. Intense exercise on the other hand can have the opposite effect and can actually do the opposite; it can increase the blood sugar levels temporarily. Reason behind this is the body may perceive the sudden exercise as a body change and as a stressor. Thus it releases stress hormones which in return increase blood sugar.

At some point though, you may have to hold off exercise if one, your blood glucose is very high and two, your body is producing ketones.

So now why exercise? Here are more benefits:

  • Exercise burns calories can help you lose weight. The right weight is needed to fight off diabetes.
  • Exercise helps body respond more to insulin.
  • Exercise improves circulation.
  • Exercise helps in cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Exercise reduces stress which raises glucose level.
  • Exercise can control type 2 diabetes without medication

Types of Exercise You Can Do

Do a couple of exercise routines everyday for 30 minutes. If you can’t last the 30 minutes, then you can divide the routine in 3 sessions.

  • Strength Training. Strength training, according to studies, helps people with diabetes. Weeks of strength training can help in sugar control in a very positive way. Due to strength training as well, blood sugar medicine that most diabetics are taking can be reduced. Another benefit of strength training includes stronger muscles, body fat reduced, lesser depressive moments and more self-confidence.
  • Aerobic Fitness.  Aerobic exercises help in managing blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. Aerobic exercise is fun to do which makes it a choice for most men and women out there. Aerobic exercise may include swimming and even walking.

Other exercises you can follow are listed below.

  • Walking. Try to walk in your errands instead of driving or go for a walk in the park. Alternate pace.
  • Swimming. Swimming is mentioned above, but let me mention it again. Everybody enjoys swimming, but for the fact now that it can benefit your diabetes then it is even more helpful.
  • Dancing. That is if you’re keen on it, then you can go dancing. It’s a sure fun way to keep your sugar levels at a good level.
  • Water aerobics. If aerobics is fun, then all the more the water aerobics but it needs certain preparation and may need a chunk of your time.
  • Gardening. I don’t mean that you enslave yourself and do you lawn a makeover. Say try growing your flowerbeds or try weeding out your plants. It can be therapeutic as well as can help your exercise goals.
  • Golfing. Golfing can be a form of exercise but of course it can come only possible for some.
  • Cycling. Cycling with a loved one is one good exercise or if you’re not confident about it, stationary bike will do.
  • Exercise bike.
  • Walking machine. Walking machine can be an easy way to get in shape without gym membership or without going out of you house.

Exercise Tips and Precautions for people on insulin or oral medication

  • Make sure you have an adequate breakfast.
  • Or go have a carbohydrate snack before the exercise.
  • Be ready with your sugar checker.
  • Limit your exercise routine to what your body can do. Slowly increase your pacing once you are ready only.
  • Carry carbohydrate tablets.
  • Wear ID to identify you with diabetes just so in case you faint or emergency happen, people will know what to do.
  • Exercise with someone.
  • Check sugar before and after your exercise.
  • Start slow and gradually.
  • Do some warm ups.
  • Have the right exercising gears. Like have some knee pads when running or wear some helmet when cycling.
  • Know your limits and be prepared.
  • Have water at your side.

Other Ways of preventing Diabetes

Other ways to prevent diabetes (to be supplemented by exercise of course) includes some things like the tips below. Read on.

  • The right diet. You can’t get through your diabetes phase if you plan on eating junk foods or processed foods or all too sweet foods. Instead go for green, cut on processed food and take outs and instead have more fruits.
  • Consume more fiber. Although this should be on number, it is still worthy to be mentioned alone. So yes, have more fiber.
  • Always be aware of changes in your feet. It can signal diabetes through nerve ending damage.
  • Get regular check up. Know your progress and always check for newer things for your condition.
  • Have your medicine at hands. They should be handy.
  • Take enough omega-3. Omega-3 has been known to increase the body’s insulin sensitivity which can be very beneficial to those who have diabetes or those wishing to prevent one from happening.

So as said, diabetes can be manageable. It can still help you live a normal life once you know how to manage it. Diabetes should not be something that should hamper you, your life nor your activities. Just keep emergency kits at hand, learn what you should do and always talk to your doctor.

Don’t let diabetes manage your life; you should do it for it. So put away that sedentary lifestyle, start walking and you’ll be able to get through the condition.

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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