Diabetes and Benefits of Exercise
Regular exercise reduces the demand for medication by 20% in diabetics and checking the blood glucose levels before and after exercise can be a motivator to continue the exercise regimen. The benefits of exercise for diabetes are many and include:
1. Control of blood glucose levels: Glucose is the source of energy in our body. Physical activity utilizes the glucose and helps to reduce the blood glucose levels. Physical activity also decreases the insulin resistance. A few studies have also indicated that activity increases the insulin receptors in the red blood cells. All this together helps to keep the glycosylated hemoglobin (three-month average of blood glucose levels) levels normal.
2. Improved cardiovascular function: Individuals with type II diabetes are more prone to cardiovascular diseases (hardening of arteries, heart attack, and stroke). Exercise increases the cardio-respiratory fitness by
- Lowering the blood pressure
- Lowering the bad cholesterol (triglyceride)
- And increasing the good cholesterol (HDL)
4. Weight control: Physical activity helps obese/overweight individuals to lose weight and also helps them to maintain a healthy BMI.