Diabetes is a long term health condition which affects the body’s ability to use energy from food. Our bodies produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin controls the amount of sugar in our bloodstream. Controlling our blood sugar is important – too little or too much can be fatal. Those who suffer with diabetes may not produce enough insulin to control blood sugar. Others may produce enough insulin but their bodies’ have become resistant to it – making it ineffective. People with diabetes are more at risk of vision loss, kidney and heart disease.
Exercise and diabetes
Exercise and physical activity are highly recommended for people with diabetes. Physical activity has a number of benefits for this population:
- Helps the body to use insulin better.
- Can help control blood pressure, which reduces the liklihood of heart disease.
- Can reduce cholesterol levels. This combats the increased risk of heart disease.
- Boosts daily energy levels and can improve sleep quality.
- Contributes to weight loss and maintenance.
- Proven to reduce stress levels.
In addition to these people who exercise can make better lifestyle choices around diet and smoking. An all round healthier lifestyle. More specifically, exercise can help control HbA1c levels. This is the average blood sugar levels over 2-3 months.
What Type of Exercise?
Exercise and diabetes should go hand in hand. Many people may not know where to start when it comes to increasing their exercise level. This simple answer is that it really doesn’t matter. The key is to find a form of physical activity that is enjoyable. It also needs to fit into your daily routine and lifestyle easily. Therefore, going for a walk each morning or simply doing 20 minutes extra gardening are both suitable. The secret is to move more in the day. You don’t even have to do your exercise all in one go. It can be broken up into chunks throughout the day.
When it comes to exercise and diabetes simply select movement that raises your heart rate and breathing rate. Listen to your body and how it feels. Work at an effort level of 6/7 out of 10 will be intense enough. You should be able to maintain a converstation when you’re exercising.
We see an increasing nmumber of people who are struggling to maintain enough daily physical activity. We work hard with our clients to find practical strategies to address this and get them moving more. Lifetsyle changes also mean that sugar consumption continues to rise. As a result, more people pleace themselves at risk of developing diabetes.