Expert Tips for Using Exercise to Manage Diabetes
When you have Type 2 Diabetes, regular physical activity is an important part of your management plan.
By staying active, you’ll be able to better control your diabetes by keeping your blood glucose levels in a healthy range, preventing long-term complications.
Research shows getting 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week can result in significant health benefits, including lower blood sugar. You can achieve this by exercising for 30 minutes per day or you can break it down into 3 shorter, 10 minute bouts throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be hard; activities like walking, biking or swimming are some great examples of aerobic activity.
There are multiple benefits of regular exercise for Type 2 Diabetes:
- A decrease in A1C by 0.7%
- 3.5mmol average reduction in blood glucose
- Lower blood pressure
- Weight loss
- Leaner, stronger muscle
- Better sleep
- More energy!
Once you’ve added some aerobic activity into your daily routine, consider adding strength training too. As muscles are the biggest consumers of glucose, stronger muscles equates to better control over your blood glucose levels.
Your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy during exercise, but regular exercise also helps your body use insulin more effectively. This lowers your blood sugar.
If you’re new to exercise, be sure to check with your healthcare professional or a Wellness Institute staff before starting an exercise program.
It can sound daunting, but it you start slowly and try to make exercise a priority, you’ll soon reap the many benefits.