Exploring the relationship between diabetes and exercise

With this month being National Diabetes Month, we thought we’d take the time to take a closer look at the link between diabetes and exercise.

When people are diagnosed with diabetes, one of the things they’re often advised to do is exercise regularly. But why is exercise so fundamental to helping manage diabetes?

First and foremost, it helps control (and even lower) blood sugar levels, as muscles use more glucose when they’re working than when they’re resting. It’s also proven to help with weight control and stress management, as well as contribute to a healthier heart.

Regular exercise can also help boost the immune system and protect against conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and other major illnesses. In fact, exercise is reported to cut the risk of major illnesses/diseases by up to 50% and reduce the risk of early death by up to 30%.

The type of exercise people with diabetes are advised to take part in doesn’t have to be the same, the only stipulation is that it ideally needs to be carried out regularly. According to the NHS, regular exercise is classed as 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week.

Moderate intensity exercise raises your heart rate and makes you sweat and can range from jogging and riding your bike, to playing doubles tennis and rowing.

However, contrary to popular belief, moderate intensity exercise doesn’t necessarily have to involve taking part in sporting activities. For instance, mowing the lawn, cleaning your house from top to bottom and walking the dog, are also classed as moderate intensity exercise too. The important thing is, is that you’re doing it regularly and for around 150 minutes a week.

For more information about the symptoms of diabetes, what it is and what causes it, check out our blog.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to find out more about how exercise can help you prevent or manage diabetes, email us at nicolacarless@aol.com