The Relationship Between Exercise and Diabetes

exercise and diabetes

Many people with diabetes decide that they don’t have enough energy for their planned exercise at some point in the day. They lay on the couch, feel guilty, and decide that morning may be a better time to work out. When the next day comes around, the alarm goes off earlier, and they hit the snooze button multiple times until there is no time left to exercise. The motivation to get the exercise routine started and sustained is the problem. When you understand the relationship between exercise and diabetes, it becomes another incentive to add a full-body workout routine, or really any other type of exercise, to your lifestyle at least 3 days a week.

Here are the exercise benefits a diabetic needs to understand to get started using exercise to help manage diabetes.

Working Out Controls Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition where a body doesn’t release appropriate insulin levels. The insulin release should occur when the blood sugar levels go up after eating a meal. In addition to not releasing enough insulin, the body can also develop diabetes when the insulin is not processed correctly upon release. Diabetes can take on many forms, including Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational. Type 1 and Type can impact all genders. Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women. Exercise and working out are crucial elements to help combat diabetes.

Diagnosing a person with diabetes starts with a review of blood sugar levels. Once blood sugar levels consistently reach a specific warning area, doctors will label a patient as prediabetic. This diagnosis warns the patient that diabetes is a strong possibility in the patient’s future unless the patient makes diet and lifestyle changes. The doctor will discuss different methods with the patient for how to reverse prediabetes and develop a healthier lifestyle. Once we fully understand the benefits of exercise and diabetes, we can improve our lifestyles priorities. Working out will be at the top of the list.

Working Out Promotes Heart Health

When a diabetic works out, the body experiences many benefits. The part of the body that thrives from exercise is the heart. The positive impacts of training for the heart include lowering bad cholesterol, raising good cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure. In addition, research shows that the blood vessel activity and the heart’s physical structure improve in time with regular exercise. A healthy heart results in improved insulin processing for a diabetic.

As people age, having a stronger heart will help maintain exercise levels. Maintaining these exercise levels will also help improve a person’s immune system and keep the body strong, which will help lead to a potentially more extended life. Too much exercise can adversely affect the heart, so a person needs to work with their doctor to find the right program and level of activity to promote good heart health.

Working Out Addresses Depression

Depression and low self-esteem are conditions that impact many diabetics. When a person starts an exercise program, self-esteem is usually lower than a person would prefer. Exercise is one of many approaches to treat depression and help a person improve their feelings of self-worth. A key element of successful depression management is finding a sustainable and consistent exercise routine. We can see it’s not just exercise and diabetes we should care about, the benefits are far-reaching.

If a person starts an exercise routine and then stops a short time later, any gains for self-esteem will be lost and will potentially be lower than when the exercise routine started. The key to success for exercise programs is planning one step at a time. Once a person completes a level, they need to appreciate the win and start working toward the next accomplishment. Each exercise step will improve self-esteem and reduce overall stress. The exercise routine will become a repeatable habit and more manageable with time.

Final Thoughts

Exercise and working out are great ways to take care of your body as a diabetic. Whether you like to run, bike, dance, or play tennis, any exercise you undertake will help your body, mind, and soul reach and sustain optimum levels. Every person is different and should learn to know themselves before designing an exercise program. What works for one person and drives their success will not work for another. Now that you better understand the relationship between exercise and diabetes, you can find the program that works for you and enjoy the benefits you will start to see and feel.

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