Type 2 Diabetes Guide

How Exercise Affects Symptoms of Diabetes - Improving Health and Well-Being in Type 2 Diabetics

Exercise is known for having a positive effect on cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Exercise is an important part of for people with . Knowing is useful since it can help to plan and stick with a regular exercise routine.

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Benefits of Exercise

When you engage in exercise, your body uses up glucose at a far higher rate than when you are sedentary. This lowers your blood sugar levels, while also providing multiple health benefits:

  • Exercise improves your body's response to insulin, lowering . Even light exercise like gardening or housework makes a difference! And the harder or more strenuous your workout, the longer your body's improved response to insulin will last.

  • improves circulation, easing cramping in the legs or the "tingling feelings" that many diabetics experience in their hands and feet due to poor circulation. Improving circulation also helps wounds to heal faster (many diabetics find that wounds tend to heal very slowly, or not at all).

  • Exercise boosts both energy and . Many diabetics say that they feel fatigued, low-energy, and sometimes . Exercising helps to reduce stress and provides a natural mood-enhancer.

  • becomes easier when you exercise regularly. Improved confidence can result. Losing weight also improves insulin sensitivity, which in turn helps keep blood sugar controlled.

Additional Exercise Tips

  • Do an initial consultation to determine a good exercise routine for you. If you change your exercise routine, ask whether you need to modify your medications (if any) in order to properly manage blood sugar.

  • Discuss with your doctor the types of exercise you plan to do -- some types of exercise may not be suitable, depending on whether you are experiencing any other .

  • Initially, you may need to before, during, and after exercise. Intense exercise in particular may cause your blood sugar to rise due to the release of additional hormones in the body. If you exercise at high intensity, consult with your healthcare provider to determine whether you need to alter your medication (or begin taking medication) to keep blood sugar under control. Once you know how your body responds to certain types of exercise, you will be able to decrease how often you check your blood sugar levels.

  • Wear comfortable, and practice good .

  • Don't skip meals.

  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration affects your blood sugar levels.

  • Have a healthy snack with carbohydrates ready for after your exercise session. You may need to replenish your body with fuel. Keeping carbs handy will also provide you with necessary sugar if you should become hypoglycemic during exercise.

  • Figure out a way to stay committed to exercise. If you get bored easily, go with a friend, join an exercise class or a fun sports league, or hire a personal trainer.

  • Ideally, exercise with someone you trust and knows you have diabetes. Show them what to do if you begin experiencing signs of and are unable to help yourself.

  • Wear a medic-alert bracelet.

  • Exercise regularly, ideally every day. If you can't do it every day, aim for a minimum of 4 to 5 times a week. Regular exercise is more beneficial than working out only on weekends, for example. If you can't fit one longer exercise session into the day, break it up into a couple of small sessions over the course of the day.

  • Try to stick to a routine. Have your meals and do your exercise at the same times every day. This will help to avoid changes unexpected changes in blood sugar.

Hopefully, knowing how exercise affects symptoms of diabetes can provide some motivation for developing and sticking with a regular exercise routine. Exercise does more than just ease , it also helps to reduce the risk of complications.



The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.