Why exercise when you have diabetes? The answer is simple. When you exercise, your body is using glucose that is in the blood.
Think of your body as a car. A car needs fuel to move. Just as a car burns up the gasoline in the tank, so your body’s cells use the glucose in your blood (which is your body’s main source of energy) whenever you do any physical activity. This is how exercise can help lower your blood sugar.
Exercise will also help the cells use better the insulin produced by the pancreas. When the pancreas secretes insulin, the insulin then attaches to certain receptors on the cells. These receptors act as gatekeepers, letting the glucose in as needed. Glucose can then be converted into energy or stored. Exercise helps these receptors to work properly and allow glucose to enter the cells.
There are many benefits of exercise. Exercise can help you:
• Improve your cardiovascular condition
• Reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol
• Improve the uptake and usage of insulin
• Control your weight
• Reduce stress
• Increase your general sense of well-being
Do a test to measure your glucose level before and after exercise. You’ll see that your blood sugar is lower after exercise.
Make sure you eat something before you exercise, especially if you are on medication or insulin, because otherwise exercise could make your blood sugar drop too low.
Consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.
*Dietitian from the MyDiet™ Team
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