Why Is Exercise So Important for Diabetics?

It is common knowledge that people with (or without) diabetes should exercise regularly. But why is exercise so important if diet appears to be the main factor affecting diabetes? Regular exercise plays a much bigger role than simply helping you lose weight; it improves blood pressure and lowers the risk of complications from the disease.

Why Exercise Is Important

A lot of diabetics are already a healthy weight, even if they don’t exercise regularly. However, exercise is not about just maintaining a healthy weight. A sedentary lifestyle puts you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and bone density loss.

Exercises that Are Great for Diabetics

Weight and strength training are great exercises for diabetics because they help to build strong bones and muscles while simultaneously improving metabolism. The constant motions involved in weight training increase the use of glucose by muscles and improve the muscle tissue’s ability to store it.

Regular exercise also reduces body fat and replaces it with muscle, which stores glucose better than fat. One of the common side effects of diabetes is too-low or too-high blood pressure and a lethargic heart. Exercise helps improve blood pressure and makes your heart work, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Why Diet Isn't Enough

It is possible to lose weight on diet alone, but exercise is important for keeping the body running as it should. Without proper exercise, glucose builds up in the blood and exacerbates the symptoms of diabetes. Healthy muscles and low body fat help store the body’s glucose in muscle tissue. If you do not have a regular exercise routine, try walking around your neighborhood for 30 minutes to an hour every day. Even walking will help strengthen your muscles and bones. Another thing to remember is to keep your body and your muscle loose. You can do this professionally by seeking out a chiropractor, masseuse or even a stretch program. You can also do simple stretches and yoga at home. 10 to 15 minutes a day is all that it takes.

Photo: Pexels

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