Exercise is something that many people don’t want to do, but it’s essential for their health. Exercise helps with diabetes in various ways, including improving insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake by the muscles while also reducing the risk of heart disease. This article explores how exercise can help people manage diabetes better.
Exercise helps with glucose uptake by the muscles
Muscles need more than just energy to do their jobs. They also require oxygen and a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is like a “battery” of energy in the cell. When it’s broken down, some of this energy can be used to help glucose enter the muscle cells for use as fuel or stored away as glycogen. This is part of insulin signaling and why people who exercise regularly have better blood glucose control and lower HbA1C levels (an essential type of hemoglobin that indicates blood sugar levels over time) than those who don’t get enough physical activity.
Exercise improves how the body responds to insulin, lowering blood sugar levels
One of the benefits of exercise is that it helps the body respond better to insulin. Insulin moves glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells. This is important because if someone has diabetes, their body may not produce enough insulin, or their cells may not respond well. When this happens, blood sugar levels can become too high. Exercise can help improve how the body responds to insulin, helping lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes
Heart disease is a significant complication of diabetes and is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes. Exercise can help to reduce this risk in people with diabetes by improving cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, and helping to control weight. When people with diabetes exercise regularly, they have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t exercise.
Exercise helps with weight management
Weight management is essential for everyone, but it’s imperative in diabetes because obesity makes managing blood glucose levels harder. Exercise plays a significant role in weight management and might be just as important as food choices when it comes to weight management. Combining healthy eating habits with physical activity can help people control their weight better than just changing their diet or exercise habits alone. Exercise also helps muscles use glucose more efficiently. Experts recommend that people with diabetes get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week and some resistance training two or more days a week.
Exercise helps manage depression symptoms in some people with diabetes
Aerobic exercise can play a role in managing depression symptoms for some people with diabetes, but the link isn’t as strong as it is for those without diabetes. Even though there aren’t conclusive studies on the connection between exercise and depression in people with diabetes, there’s enough evidence to suggest that exercise may help some people feel better emotionally.