A key challenge for a diabetic patient is to keep the blood glucose levels under control. Scientific research proves the fact that exercising along with other additional medication and therapy is a great way of helping in controlling blood sugar levels. As the old saying goes “A healthy mind resides in a healthy body”, the best way to maintain your blood sugar level is by staying active, and exercising regularly is one such step.
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Key benefits exercise can offer to diabetic patients is as follows:
- Due to exercise, our body muscles need more energy, and thus, glucose intake by the body cells increases. This reduces blood glucose levels.
- Exercise increases the insulin sensitivity in the body due to which our blood sugar level remains to maintain.
- By maintain healthy glucose levels, the risks like heart diseases can be reduced.
- It helps in maintaining weight. Being overweight is not good for a diabetic patient and exercise helps you to reverse the progression of diabetes by managing obesity-related issues.
- Regular exercise helps to manage stress and solves sleep issues.
- Regular exercising and a healthy lifestyle are key to diabetes reversal.
But the need for exercise in a diabetic patient varies from the patient’s condition. It is thus necessary to consult the doctor before starting or changing any exercise.
Things to Do Before Exercise
Some important points a diabetic person should keep in mind before doing any exercise:
1. Check blood sugar levels at home before doing exercise
a. If the blood sugar levels are between 140 to 180 mg/dL, then you can do exercise.
b. When blood sugar levels are above 250 mg/dL then the chances of increased ketones are very high. So check your ketones. In case the ketones are low you can do 15 to 20 minutes of walk. But if the Ketones levels are moderate to high take insulin or related medicines to bring down glucose levels.
c. If your blood glucose levels are below 140 mg/dL, doing exercise in such a situation may cause blood glucose levels to go down further. This can cause hypoglycaemia. Thus, eat 15 grams of carbohydrates before doing any exercise.
2. Keep yourself hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is a good way to reduce blood sugar levels.
3. Check your blood glucose levels after exercise.
But the natural question that comes to mind is what the best time for exercise is?
Numerous research carried on the best timing for exercise conclude that the best time for doing exercise for a diabetic patient is when he or she gets time to do it and when they feel healthy. Also, you can talk openly about all your health issues in F95Zone communities.
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Best timings of exercise for diabetic patients
But some key suggestions related to the timing of exercises for diabetic patients (type 1 and type 2) are:
1. Doing morning pre-breakfast exercise
Doing exercise early in the morning before eating anything increases the fasting period. This in turn increases the release of hormones like cortisol. These hormones cause insulin resistance and thus, glucose levels go high. Thus, vigorous exercise early in the morning can cause blood glucose levels to go high. So eat a light breakfast before doing early morning exercise.
You should test your blood sugar level before early morning exercise. If your blood sugar levels are less than 100mg/dL then eat something like a small apple, coconut water, etc. It will boost sugar levels and helps you to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. After 30 minutes of eating fruit check your blood sugar level again if it comes stable then it is a better time to do exercise or any working activity.
Studies depict that pre-meal morning exercise in type 1 diabetic patients reduced glucose levels by 12 to 15 % .
Walking is one of the best early morning physical activities for a diabetic patient. You can go for a walk at 6 or 7 a.m. along with your pet and water bottle. Keep yourself hydrated. Walking also keeps your heart healthy. Avoid extreme exercises as they may lead to hyperglycaemia.
2. 30 minutes after the first bite of the meals
Glucose levels are high after 90 minutes of eating meals. Patients with type 2 diabetes require keeping their blood glucose levels after 2 hours of meal within 160 mg/dL. Thus, doing exercise after 30 minutes after eating the first bite of the meals is a good time to keep blood glucose levels under control .
Studies show that the effect on glucose levels is high 30 minutes after the first bite of the meal. The glucose levels were reduced to fasting glucose levels .
3. 45 to 150 minutes’ post meals
The glucose levels after 45 minutes’ post meals were reduced by 50 % while after 150 minutes they were down by 33%. This was only when no external insulin was taken and when the glucose levels are not too high .
Exercise like mild aerobics, or a short walk is good.
4. Evening 4 Pm exercise
This exercise is generally after few hours of meals. Thus, before doing the exercise check your glucose levels. If the levels are low consume some 15 grams of carbohydrates before doing exercise. Remember to avoid rigorous exercise if your blood sugar levels are high. Tough and longer time exercise increases blood glucose levels and increases blood ketones. Thus, mild exercise is recommended in the evening time.
Preferable exercises include mild Aerobics, Zumba, yoga, swimming, walking, etc.
5. Exercise timing with insulin therapy
If you are on regular insulin therapy for dibates, then you can do exercise after 3 to 4 hours after injecting. If you have injected fast-acting insulin, then you can do exercise after 2 hours of injection .
If you don’t have a place or a situation to go outside for a workout try especially due to COVID restrictions, you can try exercises like aerobics, Zumba, Climbing staircases, etc. Just remember exercise is essential for remaining healthy.
The 30–90 min postmeal gives a unique opportunity to patients with diabetes for managing hyperglycemia. A moderate aerobic activity or walk helps in reducing hyperglycemia with minimal risk of hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetic patients .
Keeping yourself fit is the key to overcome diabetes. With a healthy lifestyle, medication, diet management, and regular exercises, type 2 diabetic patients can manage their diabetes efficiently. Studies have proved that regular exercises along with a healthy diet and medication have helped many types, 2 diabetic patients, to achieve the happy stage of diabetes reversal.
Your positive attitude and commitment can help you to completely say diabetes goodbye by achieving diabetes reversal. For good advice on a healthy lifestyle and exercises participate in Breath Well-Being online diabetes reversal program.