Home / Exercise & fitness / Exercise benefits / Medical / Reducing diabetes
Regular exercise, along with healthy eating, is key to reducing diabetes. Exercise enables the insulin in your body to work more efficiently, and also helps to lower your blood sugar levels, all of which contributes significantly towards reducing diabetes.
When you exercise, your muscles contract, and they use sugar for energy to enable them to keep moving. Sugar is removed from your blood during and after exercise to meet the needs of your muscles, which lower the levels of sugar in your blood. Exercise is also helpful for reducing diabetes because it increases your sensitivity to insulin. This enables your body to use all the insulin available to transfer sugar out of your blood and into your cells much more quickly and efficiently.
If you are diabetic, you need to exercise at least three or four times a week to manage the disease, and reduce the risk of other related illnesses. While there are some possible risks associated for diabetics, these can be managed effectively, and any harmful effects of exercising can be avoided:Hypoglycaemia
Your blood sugar levels may fall too low after exercising (aka hypoclycaemia), because exercise makes your body more sensitive to insulin, and can make you move the sugar from your blood before your body has had time to replace it. Remember to:
- Check your blood sugar level before and after exercise
- If your blood sugar level is too low or too high before exercise, wait until it returns to normal before exercising.
- Keep monitoring your blood sugar levels in very hot or cold conditions, because temperature affects how quickly your body absorbs insulin.
Begin your exercise routine gradually, starting with 5 - 10 minutes a day and building up to 30 minutes, and you'll soon begin to feel the benefits.