Diabetes is a very serious illness that affectsmany people around the world every day. Diabetes varies in complexity and thedifferent types of diabetes create different symptoms for the afflicted. Oneway that one can fight diabetes is by engaging in physical activity andensuring that one is following proper nutrition. Diabetes is influenced byinsulin and, by proper measuring, one could see how exercise and proper amountsof insulin can affect diabetes for the better and make the consequences ofdiabetes manageable. Diabetes is a disease in which the glucose(sugar) levels in the blood are very high, which creates complications for thebody.
Glucose comes from the foods that one eats. Insulin is a hormone thathelps glucose enter cells to give them energy. In type 1 diabetes, the bodydoes not produce insulin, while n type 2 diabetes, the most common, the bodydoes not produce or use insulin properly. Without enough insulin, glucose staysin the blood, which is destructive to the body. Exercise decreases blood glucose in severalways: Insulin sensitivity is increased, so cells can take more advantage of anyavailable insulin to use glucose while doing physical activity and afterwards.When muscles contract during activity, another mechanism is stimulated completelyseparate from insulin.
This mechanism allows cells to take glucose and use itas a source of energy, regardless of whether insulin is available. Thus,exercise can help reduce blood glucose in the short term. And if one doesphysical activity on a regular basis, they could also decrease their A1C. (1) The effectof physical activity on glucose varies according to the time that one is activeand many other factors. Physical activity can lower blood glucose up to 24hours or more after exercise by making the body more sensitive to insulin.People should become familiar with the reaction of glucose to exercise in theircase. If one measures their blood glucose level often, before and afterexercising, one could help them notice the benefits of the activity.
People can also use the results of glucosemeasurements 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 peoplewith type 1 diabetes are at increased risk of hypoglycemia. People with type 2diabetes do not tend to have problems with hypoglycemia during or afterexercise, unless they take insulin or an insulin secretagogin. (1) Most people should not add carbohydrates totheir meal plan unless they exercise for more than an hour at a time. If youare trying to lose weight, adding extra food to your eating plan can actuallycounteract the calories burned during exercise. In order to maximize your energyfor physical activity, it is important to follow your usual meal plan.
Be sureto choose healthy foods and fill your plate with a variety of fruits, wholegrains, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, healthy fats, lean meats, andnon-starchy vegetables. (1) Regardless of the type of diabetes that peoplehave, regular physical activity is important for their overall health andwell-being. With type 1 diabetes, it is very important to use the insulin dosethat corresponds to the food you eat and the physical activity you do, even ifit is household chores or gardening. To prevent glucose from rising too much ortoo low, it is important to plan ahead and recognize how blood glucosefrequently responds to exercise.
The response of blood glucose to exercise variesdepending on: their blood glucose level before starting the activity, theintensity of the activity the duration that one exercise for, and the changes thatthey have made to their insulin dose. Sometimes people lose blood glucoseduring or after exercise; therefore, to control the glucose level, it is veryimportant to take the necessary precautions and be ready for the treatment ofhypoglycemia (low glucose level). Recommendations and protections of physicalactivity differ by type of diabetes. The main types of diabetes are type 1 andtype 2. Type 1 diabetes account for 5%-10% of the cases, and is brought aboutby complications from cellular-mediated autoimmune. The consequences from type1 diabetes can happen at any age.
Type 2 diabetes make up 90%-95% of thecases, and is contracted due to consequencesfrom a progressive loss of insulin secretion. (2) Exercise is to the body is as meditation is to the mind, and the benefitsof exercise are bountiful. There are many different ways that one couldexercise, however most exercises fall into one of two different types, aerobicor strength. Examples of aerobic exercises include walking, running, swimming,or even playing intramural sports. To exercise securely, it is very importantto track your blood sugar before, during and after exercise. Before exercise,people need to check with a doctor their blood sugar before they start doingexercise, particularly if they have a lot of time sedentary. (3) According toMayoClinic in their article, “How much should the average adult exerciseevery day?” The ideal plan for aerobic exercising is to spend at least 150minutes a week exercising. That could all be done in one day, or spread outbetween the different days of the week (5).
Strength training, as defined bythe same source, is any exercise that includes any weight or resistance toone´s muscles that tires them out after twelve to fifteen repetitions. Thesecan all be done outside of the gym, so there is no need to go and get amembership. Strength training can include push-ups or sit-ups and can be doneat home or in a park. In using strength training, it is important to work outall the major muscle groups, and do not focus on just one. (5)