Diabetes is a very serious illness that affects
many people around the world every day. Diabetes varies in complexity and the
different types of diabetes create different symptoms for the afflicted. One
way that one can fight diabetes is by engaging in physical activity and
ensuring that one is following proper nutrition. Diabetes is influenced by
insulin and, by proper measuring, one could see how exercise and proper amounts
of insulin can affect diabetes for the better and make the consequences of
diabetes manageable. 

Diabetes is a disease in which the glucose
(sugar) levels in the blood are very high, which creates complications for the
body. Glucose comes from the foods that one eats. Insulin is a hormone that
helps glucose enter cells to give them energy. In type 1 diabetes, the body
does not produce insulin, while n type 2 diabetes, the most common, the body
does not produce or use insulin properly. Without enough insulin, glucose stays
in the blood, which is destructive to the body.

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Exercise decreases blood glucose in several
ways: Insulin sensitivity is increased, so cells can take more advantage of any
available insulin to use glucose while doing physical activity and afterwards.
When muscles contract during activity, another mechanism is stimulated completely
separate from insulin. This mechanism allows cells to take glucose and use it
as a source of energy, regardless of whether insulin is available. Thus,
exercise can help reduce blood glucose in the short term. And if one does
physical activity on a regular basis, they could also decrease their A1C. (1)

The effect
of physical activity on glucose varies according to the time that one is active
and many other factors. Physical activity can lower blood glucose up to 24
hours or more after exercise by making the body more sensitive to insulin.
People should become familiar with the reaction of glucose to exercise in their
case. If one measures their blood glucose level often, before and after
exercising, one could help them notice the benefits of the activity.

People can also use the results of glucose
measurements to see how their body reacts to different activities.
Understanding these patterns can help keep glucose from going too high or low.
All people with diabetes should be prepared to treat hypoglycemia, but people
with type 1 diabetes are at increased risk of hypoglycemia. People with type 2
diabetes do not tend to have problems with hypoglycemia during or after
exercise, unless they take insulin or an insulin secretagogin. (1)

Most people should not add carbohydrates to
their meal plan unless they exercise for more than an hour at a time. If you
are trying to lose weight, adding extra food to your eating plan can actually
counteract the calories burned during exercise. In order to maximize your energy
for physical activity, it is important to follow your usual meal plan. Be sure
to choose healthy foods and fill your plate with a variety of fruits, whole
grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, healthy fats, lean meats, and
non-starchy vegetables. (1)

Regardless of the type of diabetes that people
have, regular physical activity is important for their overall health and
well-being. With type 1 diabetes, it is very important to use the insulin dose
that corresponds to the food you eat and the physical activity you do, even if
it is household chores or gardening. To prevent glucose from rising too much or
too low, it is important to plan ahead and recognize how blood glucose
frequently responds to exercise. The response of blood glucose to exercise varies
depending on: their blood glucose level before starting the activity, the
intensity of the activity the duration that one exercise for, and the changes that
they have made to their insulin dose. Sometimes people lose blood glucose
during or after exercise; therefore, to control the glucose level, it is very
important to take the necessary precautions and be ready for the treatment of
hypoglycemia (low glucose level). Recommendations and protections of physical
activity differ by type of diabetes. The main types of diabetes are type 1 and
type 2. Type 1 diabetes account for 5%-10% of the cases, and is brought about
by complications from cellular-mediated autoimmune. The consequences from type
1 diabetes can happen at any age. Type 2 diabetes make up 90%-95% of the
cases,  and is contracted due to consequences
from a progressive loss of insulin secretion. (2) 

Exercise is to the body is as meditation is to the mind, and the benefits
of exercise are bountiful. There are many different ways that one could
exercise, however most exercises fall into one of two different types, aerobic
or strength. Examples of aerobic exercises include walking, running, swimming,
or even playing intramural sports. To exercise securely, it is very important
to track your blood sugar before, during and after exercise. Before exercise,
people need to check with a doctor their blood sugar before they start doing
exercise, particularly if they have a lot of time sedentary. (3) According to
MayoClinic in their article, “How much should the average adult exercise
every day?” The ideal plan for aerobic exercising is to spend at least 150
minutes a week exercising. That could all be done in one day, or spread out
between the different days of the week (5). Strength training, as defined by
the same source, is any exercise that includes any weight or resistance to
one´s muscles that tires them out after twelve to fifteen repetitions. These
can all be done outside of the gym, so there is no need to go and get a
membership. Strength training can include push-ups or sit-ups and can be done
at home or in a park. In using strength training, it is important to work out
all the major muscle groups, and do not focus on just one. (5)