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Future Health

Diabetes and the Benefits of Exercise

August 5, 2013 

Although many doctors start their patients on medically assisted therapies, they often do not give attention to the construction of a proper diet and exercise program. Without these components, disease management is not complete. This makes it crucial to set up a healthcare support team with registered dieticians, exercise physiologists and diabetes educators who have extensive knowledge on management of the disease. For some patients, a psychologist can also be very helpful with techniques to keep you motivated to stay on track.

Coupling a good diet and exercise regimen with the medications your doctor has recommended will aid you in controlling your weight and your blood sugar. We will explain how and why this works.
Exercise helps keep a healthy body to fat ratio, which in turn improves your body's ability to use insulin and increases insulin sensitivity. This decreases blood sugar levels and increases endurance because the cells are now able to accept glucose, and use it for energy.
The immediate effects that can be seen in the first few months of an exercise program include increased muscle strength, flexibility, bone density and healthy cholesterol (HDL) as well as decreased blood pressure, bad cholesterol (LDL) and stress levels. Exercise also assists in preventing heart and blood vessel obstruction and disease by promoting healthy blood circulation, improving cholesterol levels and reducing stress.

Additional benefits:
  • Increased energy levels
  • Increased concentration
  • Increased relaxation
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Decreased depression
Many individuals with diabetes who experience hypo or hyperglycemia often have lower energy levels, less lung/muscle stamina, show increased levels of stress and sometimes even depression or anxiety. To combat these unwanted side effects, we recommend that you talk to your doctor to set up a team who will support you as you begin to manage your disease. But remember that the most important person on your healthcare team is and always will be you.