The obvious benefits of exercise for diabetics is losing weight. But did you know these other benefits?
Did you know that staying active and getting exercise is a great way to manage diabetes? This is because blood sugar after exercise is usually lower and easier to manage. Being active helps your body become more sensitive to insulin making exercise and diabetes two things that can go hand in hand. There are many reasons that staying active is good for you, especially if you have diabetes. Exercise can help you notice the following benefits:
- Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight
- Feel happier
- Sleep well
- Improve memory
- Control blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol
Blood Sugar after Exercise
Exercise can help your body by lowering its levels of blood sugar after exercise for at least 24 hours if not more. This means that the results of exercise and diabetes can help keep blood sugar levels from spiking. When you are exercising, your body becomes more sensitive to insulin making your muscle cells use up any available insulin and sugar during and after exercise. This also means that when your muscles are being worked during exercise, cells are forced to use sugar for energy weather it has insulin or not.
Diabetes and Exercise
There are many ways that you can get active if you have diabetes and starting off slow is a great place to start. Becoming active doesn’t mean that it’s immediately necessary to sign up for the gym and start going daily. Start off by going for walks, going for 2 – 3 walks a week can get your started on the right path. If walking isn’t enough for you, try fitting in around 2 hours of moderate activity a week for at least 20-25 minutes day. Some examples of moderate physical activity are:
- Working around the house
These help work the larger muscles in your body and also increase heart rates which gets your blood flowing and energy used. If you are new to exercising, stretching is almost as important as getting exercise. This can help keep your muscles from being sore as well as keeping flexibility in the muscles so that you can keep being activity on a weekly basis.
Considerations for Exercise and Diabetes
It’s important to be active in the right way, especially if you have diabetes. Taking care of your self should be the number one goal as well as monitoring blood sugar after exercise and before. Make sure to take note of the following considerations for exercise and diabetes:
- Drink Water, plenty of it, to keep the body hydrated
- Check blood sugar after exercise and well as before, especially if you take insulin, to see how the activity has affected the blood sugar levels
- Wear cotton because it breaths well and make sure your clothes, socks and shoes are comfortable
- Make sure to examine your body after exercise, especially feet to check for any sore of irritation, blisters, cuts or sores.
- If you have obtained any sort of injury during exercise and it hasn’t healed after 2 days make sure to reach out to your doctor
Motivation to get active can be difficult but your body will thank you for the time you give it. There are many ways to make getting exercise work are here are a few tips:
- Think about walking for 10 minutes after dinner then slowly up the time to 30 minutes
- Some benefits will be instantaneous while others will be noted over time
- Being active can be fun, especially if you find something that you love. If you don’t like the first activity you choose, try something else, it may surprise you
- Try walking during lunch if you can’t afford gym memberships
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- It’s never too late to become active!
Finding an exercise that you enjoy can make a big difference! Try something new and you just might be pleasantly surprised.