Exercise is very important for people who have type 2 diabetes. One of the things that exercise does is stimulate your body's cells to use more glucose. When your cells need more glucose, there is less sugar remaining in your blood. This translates into lower blood sugar levels. Exercise also helps the insulin your body produces to work more efficiently.
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Aerobic or Anaerobic Exercise? The best exercise for type 2 diabetics is aerobic, otherwise known as cardiovascular exercise. That's because it is the form of exercise which will keep your heart healthy. It can lower your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, decrease bad cholesterol levels, and strengthen your heart.
While anaerobic exercise is good for you as well, it works differently and does not have as significant an effect on your heart or sugar levels. An example of an anaerobic activity is lifting weights. One of the benefits you gain from growing more muscle is that it increases your metabolic rate. That's the rate at which your body burns calories.
How to Burn Calories: The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. This is highly beneficial because most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Eating fewer calories or burning them off more efficiently are both conducive to weight loss.
Ideally you should participate in some form of cardio exercise a minimum of thirty minutes, three times a week. If you can, you will find it even more effective to add strengthen training another three times a week for forty-five minute periods.
When you exercise, your cells ask for more blood sugar, which it takes out of your blood stream. Plus, stress causes blood sugar to rise and exercise is great at reducing stress.
Can't get motivated? Try Different Things: The big question or dilemma is... why does a sedentary person all of a sudden want to exercise? The truth is, most don't. Even though it could mean a reduction in medication or never having to start taking meds at all, exercise is not the clear answer for many type 2 diabetics.
The key to sticking with exercise is to find something you like to do, emphasis on the YOU. Just because you have friends that love running and invite you to come along, does not mean that running is the sport for you. Maybe you should try cycling, walking, hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, or some other activity.
If you are not an outdoors person, you might find ways to exercise that you like by joining a gym or health club. Maybe you will enjoy elliptical machines, water aerobics, or tennis. Anything that gets you moving is the answer. Finding an exercise buddy or group, is a great motivational tool and might be just what it takes to get you out the door every day.
Be Persistent! The Endorphins Will Come: Start out slow. Don't be embarrassed if you can only do five minutes at first. In a couple weeks you will be doing ten minutes, and then in a few more weeks you will have worked you way up to the half-hour goal.
By then your body will have settled into a routine and started to release endorphins. These neurological hormones are what make your brain happy and give you a natural high feeling. When you start feeling great after exercise, your body will actually crave your workout each day. You may even find yourself looking forward to it.
Yes, exercise is good for you. Physical activity is good for your heart and gives you lower blood sugar levels.
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Would you like more information about alternative ways to handle your type 2 diabetes?
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(c) 2010. Beverleigh Piepers is a registered nurse who would like to help you understand how to live easily and happily with your type 2 diabetes. http://drugfreetype2diabetes.com/blog
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