By now, most people know that exercise is good for people living with diabetes. But what does exercise do to help manage your diabetes?
- Improved insulin sensitivity- exercise helps the body use the insulin that is being produced and prevents overproduction of insulin to compensate for poor insulin sensitivity.
- Allows cells to take up circulating blood sugar and lowers blood sugar
- Lowers A1c
- Decreases blood sugar levels that would otherwise be converted to fat due to elevated levels of insulin in type 2 diabetes
- Improves muscle uptake of glucose for fuel
- Regular exercise can improve your A1c
- Blood sugars stay in a healthier range for longer periods of time
- One half hour bout of moderate intensity physical activity will lower your blood sugar for 24 hours
- The greater time in range for your blood sugar, the closer your A1c’s will be to non-diabetic levels
- Exercise helps your body utilize circulating blood sugar and prevents the production of excess blood sugar
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Decreases insulin production and the body’s storage of glucose as fat in response to these elevated insulin levels
- Exercise lowers cortisol which prevents an unhealthy rise blood sugar
- Muscular action improves blood sugar uptake independent of insulin levels
- Exercise increases muscle size providing more room for blood sugar storage which decreases circulating blood sugar levels.
- Exercising 5-6 days a week increases the impact of these benefits and it is recommended to exercise as consistent as possible not taking more than two consecutive days off.
And exercise decreases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, so if you or someone you know is has pre-diabetes, this is for them as well
By LaurieAnn Scher, MS, RD, CDE