Most common forms of diabetes are known as type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes, also known as adolescent diabetes, differs from type 2 in that the body completely stops to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in older people and occurs when the body stops producing enough insulin or the person becomes resistant to their own insulin.
With either form of diabetes, we lose our ability to process sugar properly. Blood sugar levels rise due to the body's difficulty transporting sugar into cells and out of the bloodstream. There are several ways to lower blood sugar levels, including exercise, diet, and medication.
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Exercise is a very important part of diabetes management for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. For the type 1 diabetic, regular exercise helps maintain insulin sensitivity, helps prevent accumulation of excessive weight and increases the use of glucose by the muscles, which reduces blood sugar levels. Although there is currently no way to prevent type 1 diabetes, it is possible to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Things to consider when trying to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes are regular exercise, supplementation with vitamins and herbs that help prevent insulin resistance, and proper weight control.
Not only does exercise directly help control diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and maintaining insulin sensitivity, but it also helps minimize many of the complications that can occur in someone with diabetes. Studies have shown that walking 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetics tend to develop circulatory problems, and exercise can certainly help lower blood pressure and improve circulation throughout the body. Since people with diabetes tend to have poor blood circulation to the lower limbs and feet, better circulation is very beneficial.
There are some risks associated with exercise, but the potential benefits far outweigh the risks. Since exercise lowers blood sugar levels, people with diabetes should check their blood sugar levels before and after exercise. Since your body uses more sugar while you exercise and makes it more sensitive to insulin, there is a risk that your blood sugar level will drop too low and cause hypoglycemia.
When you exercise, it's important to let others know you have diabetes. They should be told what to do in case of hypoglycemia. You should always carry sweets or fruit juice to treat low blood sugar in case it occurs. During and after exercise sessions, you should pay close attention to how you feel, as a rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, feeling shaky, or hunger may indicate that your blood sugar levels are also dropping.
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Exercise is an essential part of the management and treatment of diabetes. Exercise helps control blood sugar when muscles use more glucose and the body becomes more sensitive to insulin. Exercise also helps prevent and minimize common complications of diabetes, including heart problems, high blood pressure, and circulatory deficiencies. All diabetics should include a regular exercise program as part of their overall management plan.