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
with type 2 diabetes
exercise affects the symptoms of diabetes
is useful since it can help to plan
and stick with a regular exercise routine.
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 complications
- Initially, you may need to monitor
your blood sugar levels 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, supportive shoes
and practice good foot care.
- 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
- 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
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
diabetes, 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.