Exercise is important for diabetics
Physical activity has many benefits for people with diabetes. Studies continue to show that exercise lowers after-meal glucose levels by increasing the body's uptake of insulin and helping improve insulin sensitivity.
In addition, exercise reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, for example by reducing high blood pressure. It also helps control weight, increases energy levels, and generally brings about a healthier outlook on life.
Remember that exercise can lower blood-sugar levels, as your muscles use up the glucose in your body for energy.
Delay the onset of diabetes
For people who have an increased risk of diabetes, regular physical activity has been shown to prevent or delay the onset of the disease. If you are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, have metabolic syndrome, or have any other risk factors, it is time to be more active. Prevention is the key.
Make an exercise plan
Your exercise plan will depend on your age, general health, and level of fitness, so check with your GP before starting. Make sure that you start off gently and do not overexert yourself. Try walking, swimming, and cycling, which can all be carried out at a pace that you find comfortable, and increased as your level of fitness improves.
Wear a visible diabetes ID, carry some carbohydrate with you, and exercise with a friend who knows that you have diabetes in case your blood sugar drops and you become hypoglycaemic.
- Low-fat, sugar-free fruit yogurt
- Banana or apple
- Slice of wholemeal toast or a bagel with peanut butter or low-fat spread
- Rice crackers with hummus.
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