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3 Fantastic Ways That Exercise Can Help Improve your Diabetes

Sep 10, 2008
Exercise can be a fantastic way to manage your diabetes providing you take adequate precautions. On top of this exercise also has a number of additional benefits including an improved appearance, greater strength and more energy. In this article I will be discussing the exercise options available to you, the precautions you should take when exercising and the benefits exercise can have on your diabetes.

To begin lets discuss the types of exercise available to you. Exercise generally falls under two main categories; 'Cardiovascular Training' and 'Resistance Training'. Cardiovascular training focuses on improving the amount of oxygen that is delivered to your muscles which in turn improves your endurance and stamina. There are many choices when it comes to cardiovascular exercise which include cycling, jogging and swimming. Resistance training focuses on improving your strength using short, explosive movements. When it comes to resistance training the choices are a little more limited and involve the use of free weights, machine weights or your own body weight.

So which type is best for your diabetes and your overall health? Well, both types have their advantages. Cardiovascular training is more effective at stimulating the body to use blood sugar for energy but weight training has been linked with significant improvements in blood sugar control. My advice is to do a mixture of both cardiovascular training and resistance training as part of your regular exercise routine. This will allow you to gain the maximum benefit from each type of exercise which include:

1) IMPROVED BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL:- As mentioned above both types of exercise can help you control your blood sugar levels by prompting your body to burn more blood sugar. In fact in some cases of type 2 diabetes exercise has been so effective that it has removed the need for insulin injections.

2) IMPROVED RECEPTIVENESS TO INSULIN:- One of the key problems facing diabetics is a lack of insulin in the body. However, research suggests that regular exercise can improve the body's sensitivity to insulin. Therefore, by exercising regularly diabetics can use the limited insulin they have available more effectively.

3) REDUCED BODY FAT LEVELS:- Both types of exercise can help you burn fat in different ways. Cardiovascular training stimulates fat burning directly (both during and after exercise) whereas building muscle mass through resistance training can slightly increase the number of calories you burn each day. Fat cells are more resistant to insulin than muscle cells and so by burning them off through exercise you can make your body more receptive to insulin.

Although regular exercise is a fantastic way to moderate your diabetes it is very important that you take the following precautions.

- Always monitor your blood sugar levels before, during and after exercise using a portable glucose meter. Although exercise can help control your blood sugar levels you need to be aware if any fluctuations occur.

- Always keep insulin and glucose nearby so that you can quickly address any potential blood sugar fluctuations.

- Make sure that you stay properly hydrated whilst working out as dehydration can can cause further blood sugar fluctuations.

- Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise plan. They will know about your health better than most people and therefore will be able to advise you of any further precautions you need to take when exercising.

Regular exercise can do wonders for your health, your appearance and your diabetes. If you want to command greater control over your diabetes then you should start getting physical today. Begin with just a daily brisk walk and then progressively work your way towards more intense forms of exercise. Before you know it you will have made huge steps in your health, your fitness and your diabetes management.

Every intention has been made to make this article accurate and informative but it is intended for general information only. Diabetes is a medical condition and this article is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner. If you have any concerns regarding any form of diabetes you should seek the advice of your doctor immediately.
About the Author
Tom Parker owns and operates a number of useful fitness resources and websites. If you visit Tom's fitness websites today you can get more detailed information on exercises for diabetes and sign up for a daily Free Fitness Tip
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