If exercise or physical activities in general have always seemed daunting to you, adjusting the way you view exercising could be a life saver. It’s difficult to justify saying that the benefits of an active lifestyle are underestimated or overlooked considering how often is touted and highly regarded in its advantages for the human body, whether it is to buffer certain conditions and symptoms or if it’s simply to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, despite all its hoopla, physical activity is neglected by many people worldwide despite the obvious pluses exercise brings to the table. For the purposes of this article, we’ll cover physical activity within the realm of diabetes.
If exercising has not been part of your daily routine for a while (or ever), you should probably begin at a slower pace and/or lower weights. Getting your body used to physical activity may seem daunting at first but there is an amazing variety of workouts that you can do. Slower paced activities such as gardening, mild cycling and going for walks are a great way to begin. If you feel you are up for a more strenuous routine just be sure you have the approval of your doctor.
What’s so powerful about exercise that will help my diabetes?
Your skeletal muscles (and brain) are the primary users of glucose, the main source of energy from the human diet. Exercise causes an increase in metabolism speed and function well after your physical activities have been completed, around 24-48 hours (depending on activity level) after according to some research. As your metabolism is boosted by exercise, so is the efficiency of many of your body’s biochemical systems including the breakdown of glucose and increasing sensitization of your cells to insulin. As a result, blood glucose levels tend to decrease as metabolism efficiency goes up. To truly reap the benefits of an active lifestyle however, it is important to maintain a long term outlook so as not to lose sight of the bigger picture as it pertains to diabetic conditions. It is about embracing a life improving change (exercise) so that its’ benefits can slowly faze out a detrimental one (diabetes). Obviously, this isn’t to say exercise is a cure for diabetes, rather, with our busy fast paced modern times, you can use exercise as a tool to mitigate many symptoms of diabetes and thus give yourself more comfort and less hassles in your daily endeavors.
Another benefit of exercise as it pertains to diabetes is that it has the uncanny ability to lower blood pressure. It is a fact that high blood pressure (HBP) is a major risk factor for heart attacks. It is also a fact that HBP is present in many diabetes patients. The overall boost that regular physical activity provides to your cardiovascular system is astounding. It is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise be incorporated to your daily routine. Brisk walking, light jogging and swimming are all economical and sufficiently considered great examples of activities you can do.
The icing on the exercise cake is that is helps you lose weight! And, losing weight in turn branches out into another myriad of benefits. Exercise creates a cascade effect of improved health. Losing weight reduces the propensity to resist insulin, it lowers your blood pressure (see previous paragraph) and it cuts cholesterol levels significantly.
An active lifestyle goes a long way in making life a lot easier for diabetic patients for both short and long term. It is also well documented that many patients report no longer needing certain pharmaceuticals to suppress many diabetes complications such as high blood pressure. Significant weight loss has even been reported to lead the remission of diabetes ENTIRELY. The bottom line is, with exercise in your diabetes battling arsenal, your health goes up, your costs go down and your future is looking that much brighter. Mother Nature provided us with the hardware to improve our body’s health and fight diabetes by simply putting it to work. What else can we ask for?