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Exercise and Diabetes

Exercise is essential for effectively managing your diabetes.

Whether or not you have diabetes, regular exercise is essential for good health and well being. But for people with diabetes, the benefits of exercise may have even more significance. Exercise can help to reduce existing complications associated with diabetes and also defer potential problems.

Used as a treatment, exercise can even help many people with Type 2 diabetes to a point where they can live a completely normal life again, without further health complications. Exercise can also help to prevent Type 2 diabetes ever occurring.

There are some precautions to take when exercising with diabetes, however. Read on to find out more about exercise for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. 

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Exercise for those with Type 1 diabetes

Exercise is especially important if you have Type 1 diabetes because it helps to prevent many diseases to which you are more susceptible, such as coronary artery disease, cerebro-vascular disease, and peripheral artery disease. For some people with Type 1 diabetes, regular exercise may help to stabilise blood glucose concentrations over a long period of time.

When exercising with Type 1 diabetes, it's important to be aware that you may be prone to hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose concentration) both during and immediately after exercise because the liver fails to release glucose at a rate that can support the demands for glucose made by the muscles.

If you have Type 1 diabetes, it is essential to consult a health care professional and monitor your blood glucose levels when embarking on an exercise program. Medication and diet must be altered according to your individual blood glucose response to exercise.

Exercise for those with Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is primarily a lifestyle-induced disease. Exercise is especially beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes because it usually involves a lifestyle change. Exercise plays an essential role in managing blood glucose levels for those with Type 2 diabetes, and can even reverse the diabetic condition in some people.

Generally, aerobic exercise is used to treat Type 2 diabetes. It not only helps to treat the symptoms, but also prevents some of the other associated health risks. Strength training is also a valuable addition to an exercise program for those with Type 2 diabetes. By increasing muscle mass through strength training, the body creates a larger "sponge" with which to absorb excess blood glucose.

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