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How Does Amount of Exercise Affect Your Risk of Diabetes?

Diabetes is controllable, and with some discipline and well guided exercise, those who have diabetes can greatly reduce its effects on their health. A well structured exercise plan will:

  •  Help control blood sugar levels
  • Minimize stress and complications
  • Greatly improve quality of living
  • Assist in managing weight

Exercise allows diabetes sufferers to fight back and regain control of their health. Apart from the benefits it provides in alleviating the symptoms, it also helps with weight management and improves all aspects of physical fitness.

Ideally, one should exercise every day, to keep insulin levels and eating constant. These exercises must be low impact exercises, so activities such as running and martial arts are not recommended. Ideal exercises include swimming, cycling, and walking.

At least 20 minutes of exercise is necessary every day. These workouts can be performed at a comfortable pace and there is no need to strain one’s self. Resistance training is also recommended, which concentrates on lighter weights and a higher number of repetitions. Spreading resistance training out within your exercise regime will ensure a more comprehensive and consistent workout.

It is important to eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates before exercise is commenced. The meal should also be low in fat and high in protein as well. Protein is important because it allows a more gradual release of energy, which keeps insulin levels from fluctuating during exertion.

There are a few points to watch out for when exercising.

  • First, avoiding high impact activities is important because cuts, blisters, abrasions, and other such injuries could lead to infections that get aggravated by diabetes. Feet are especially sensitive to this, and socks and shoes must be chosen carefully to allow expansion as the body heats up.
  • Another problem that diabetics often see while exercising is hypoglycemia. It is advised to keep energy drinks by your side when you exercise, in case it sets in. Sports drinks will provide immediate relief, and can thus keep you going through your workout. Hypoglycemia is also caused by exercising limbs that have been recently injected with insulin. In the event that you do pass out, a wristband with information would prove invaluable. It can hold the contact details of your doctor, family, and even first aid instructions.
  • Finally, finding a professional trainer who can assist you during your workouts is highly beneficial. Trainers who are experienced in first aid for diabetics, and who are aware of the health implications of every exercise will help you achieve both worry free and highly effective workouts that are sure to improve your overall health and quality of living.
Jeet Chowhan is a fitness trainer and Specialist in Exercise Therapy based in Mumbai, India. He is certified as an instructor in fitness and nutrition, and strengthening of lower back muscles.

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