8 Benefits of Exercise for Treating Diabetes
If you suffer from diabetes or are prediabetic, you know how important it is to take care of yourself and your body.
Treating diabetes and managing your sugar levels is a constant companion to your life. For some people, their sugar levels drop or go soaring up for unexplained reasons. For others, managing diabetes means eating right, using diabetes medications, and regular monitoring of sugar levels.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a doctor who wouldn’t also encourage the use of a healthy diet and exercise as part of a diabetes care plan. In fact, managing your diet is almost a requirement for diabetes care.
While it’s common to hear about the benefits of exercise, they are especially profound for a person managing diabetes.
Read on to learn about the many benefits exercise offers patients with diabetes.
Diabetes in Your Body
For a person suffering from diabetes, life is about managing glucose or sugar levels. A diabetic’s body has glucose levels that are too high. This is because their body doesn’t produce or doesn’t produce enough insulin.
The pancreas produces the insulin hormone which in turn manages the glucose getting in your cells.
By using diet, you can manage how much sugar you intake. When a person exercises, their body naturally burns the glucose in the body. In essence, it takes some of the pressure off of the insulin to lower the sugar in the body.
1. Insulin Sensitivity
As a diabetic, your body doesn’t make enough insulin. In some people, the body doesn’t make any insulin. This is what makes them a diabetic. In turn, they must use produced insulin or medications that act like insulin to manage their sugar levels.
One benefit of exercise is that the insulin you have seems more sensitive to the glucose levels in your body. It, therefore, works better.
So, consistent exercise allows the insulin you do have to work smarter in managing glucose levels.
2. Lower Blood Sugar
When you exercise, your body will naturally use glucose as an energy source and burn it. When you exercise regularly, even if it’s daily walking, you are burning glucose naturally.
This helps to naturally keep your blood sugar lower and then often requires less insulin or other management medications.
Consistency with the exercise is key. Don’t imagine it to be hard-hitting exercise. There are many benefits to getting your body moving by walking, biking, yoga, or doing some stretching.
3. More Energy and Endurance
Whether you are diabetic or not, exercise naturally increases energy levels. Your body is used to moving and activity, you build up endurance.
For a diabetic, you feel more energized with regular exercise because your sugar levels are more consistent. So, you aren’t going through the big fluctuations in sugar levels.
Those can take a toll on your energy level and how you’re feeling. The exercise helps keep your energy level up.
4. Weight Loss and Muscle Tone
Often a person becomes diabetic when their weight gets out of control. If they lose muscle mass, are overweight, and not eating well, their body can’t handle the sugar levels.
A person with a diabetic diagnosis who suddenly starts eating very healthy and gets regular exercise, starts to lose weight. It also helps when their sugar levels are under control.
Again, back to exercise, participating in a strength training program for a diabetic can be huge. They naturally build muscle tone, they also burn sugar naturally.
By losing weight and gaining muscle, diabetics often find they can either lower their medications or get off them all together with weight and exercise management.
5. Sleep Better
Again, whether you are diabetic or not, with regular exercise, your body feels more tired and is more balanced. Both of these things help to get you a better night’s sleep.
Even in your sleep, your body is dealing with sugar levels. When you manage those more effectively with exercise, it leads to a more stable body and you can sleep better.
And let’s be honest, a good workout tires out your body and makes you want your rest.
6. Better Resistance
All the systems in the body are interconnected. When your body is battling things on one front, like with sugar, the rest of your body may be struggling.
The exercise you do as a diabetic makes you have a stronger body and healthier body. Your sugar levels fluctuate less.
Then your immune system is able to work more effectively too. These systems all work in unison to help keep your body safe and healthy.
It’s pretty simple to figure out that when you live a healthier life through diet and exercise, your body will stay healthier too.
7. Lower Anxiety
Ever met one of those people who runs daily. They say it makes them feel better. That if they don’t start out their day with a good run, they feel out of sync the whole day.
Exercise helps your body burn off anxiety and stressors that life delivers, diabetic or not.
Having to deal with diabetes day in and day out can be exhausting and cumbersome. While the exercise helps diabetes, it also helps with the anxiety and stressors that can come with it too.
8. Healthier Body
Exercise does other things for the body beyond managing glucose levels. It can help with cholesterol levels too.
A smart diet and exercise help blood pressure and heart rate. Exercise also helps to build stronger bones which can help to prevent developing osteoporosis.
When your sugar is managed, your whole body is able to live healthier, and exercise is key to all of these things.
Use Exercise for Treating Diabetes
Understanding how to manage diabetes is key to living a healthy life. Use exercise to help you manage your sugar levels and build a healthier body.
If you need medication for treating diabetes, we can help. Contact us today for information on the medications you need to manage your diabetes.