Diabetes and Exercise
Research has shown that exercise and diabetes go hand in hand. Exercise can be a vital part of self-managing diabetes, and if you don't have diabetes, being physically active can reduce your risk of getting the disease by lowering your blood glucose, blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and your risk for heart disease and stroke. The key is to find activities that you enjoy and to stick with them.
Diabetes means that your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) is too high. Your body uses glucose for energy, but having too much in your blood can hurt you. When you take care of your diabetes, you'll feel better. If you effectively manage your condition, you'll reduce your risk for problems with your:
- Feet and legs
You can take care of your diabetes by:
- Being physically active
- Following a healthy meal plan
- Taking diabetes medication (if your doctor prescribes them).
Research has shown that in people with diabetes, exercise can:
- Lower blood glucose and blood pressure
- Lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL)
- Improve the body's ability to use insulin
- Lower the risk for heart disease and stroke
- Keep the heart and bones strong
- Keep the joints flexible
- Lower the risk of falling
- Help with weight loss
- Reduce body fat
- Provide more energy
- Reduce stress.
If you do not have diabetes and exercise regularly, you can reduce or prevent type 2 diabetes. A major government study showed that a healthy diet and a moderate exercise program resulting in a 5 percent to 7 percent weight loss can delay and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes.