For people with diabetes, it’s common to focus on diet and medication as the main ways to stay healthy. While these two things are vital, there’s one other thing you can do to help with diabetes: exercise. Exercise can help lower blood sugar levels, reduce your risk of heart disease, and even slow down the effects of aging—it doesn’t just help with diabetes, it also helps your overall health. Star like Paul Giamatti also told about importance of exercise in his weight loss journey.
Exercise controls blood sugar
Exercising regularly can help control blood sugar levels, which is particularly important for those who have diabetes. In fact, studies have shown that physical activity can lower A1C levels—an indicator of how well blood sugar is controlled over time—in diabetics by 3.2 percent. Those who participated in moderate to high intensity exercise saw an average decrease of 3.8 percent in their A1C levels; higher-intensity exercise yielded greater reductions than moderate intensity and even low-intensity exercise helped lower A1C levels a little bit. Not only can regular exercise improve blood sugar control, but it may also help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes altogether.
Lowers blood pressure
There’s a natural link between blood pressure and cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. That’s why many doctors recommend patients with diabetes exercise to lower their blood pressure. Walking at least 150 minutes per week can help lower your blood pressure by 5 points or more. If you have high blood pressure—or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease—you should try to get 20 minutes of daily aerobic activity, plus two strength-training sessions each week.
Boosts mood and reduces anxiety
Exercise can help to improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety. This benefit is especially useful for people living with diabetes, who are twice as likely to experience depression as those without diabetes. Plus, exercise can help boost energy levels, which makes dealing with an illness or disease that much easier. No matter what your fitness level, starting a moderate routine will help you feel better overall, which will certainly make life easier when you’re also dealing with a chronic illness like diabetes. Just be sure not to push yourself too hard in these early stages; overdoing it can actually be dangerous to your health. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate exercise program for you if you have questions about setting up a workout plan or meeting specific goals.
Increases energy levels
People with diabetes are usually aware of how important it is to keep their blood sugar levels under control. But in addition to keeping them from getting sick, there are other benefits that may come from regular exercise. For example, exercise may help boost a person’s energy levels, which will make it easier for them to monitor their blood sugar levels and stick to a schedule that works for them. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes should talk to their doctor about what types of exercise would be best for them based on their overall health and any complications related to diabetes they may experience. For most people, an activity like walking or cycling regularly will provide enough exercise without causing further problems due to elevated blood glucose levels.
Decreases depression and stress
Research shows that regular exercise can decrease levels of stress and depression in people living with diabetes. This, in turn, can help improve a person’s overall health. Staying physically active is important for many reasons, but it’s especially beneficial for those who are dealing with diabetes—even if you just manage to get out there and walk three times a week. Make an effort to incorporate physical activity into your life and your daily routine, whether or not you have diabetes—you’ll be happier, healthier, and more energized!
Helps you to maintain a healthy weight
If you have diabetes, exercise helps you reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the journal Circulation. Aerobic exercise may lower your blood pressure, which can decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke, while weight-bearing exercises help prevent osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Your blood sugar is also more stable after exercise than it is at rest—which means you’re less likely to suffer from spikes in your glucose levels that lead to hypoglycemia or excessive hunger later on. And when you eat less and move more, it’s easier for your body to maintain a healthy weight.
Improves sleep quality
If you’re depressed, exercise can help you to manage the condition. Exercise can help you to manage high blood pressure as well. People who suffer from diabetes can also benefit from exercise. In fact, almost all of your symptoms are related to your lifestyle choices—exercise is one of them. Get moving! According to research out of Northwestern University in Chicago, adults who exercised more than three times a week had fewer nights per month that they reported getting insufficient sleep (less than six hours) compared to adults who exercised once a week or less.