Will Exercise Or Physical Activity Have an Influence on Blood Sugar Levels?
Physical activity is important in preventing and treating Type 2 diabetes. A study from Finland published in August 2010 in the journal Diabetologia underscores that importance.
Researchers in the Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyvaskvla in Finland, looked at 8,182 complete sets of twins over a period of 28 years. These volunteers were givenn questionnaires asking about their leisure time activities. A national register was used to record 1082 cases of Type 2 diabetes diagnosed during the duration of the study. Those participants with the highest levels of activity had the lowest risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Twins with higher levels of activity had lower risks of diabetes than their twin with lower levels of exercise.
The Body Mass Index: Body mass index, or BMI, which is a measure of the ratio of height and weight, provides a reliable indicator of the amount of body fat for most people. The BMI was lower for individuals with high levels of exercise comparedd with their sedentary twins. This was found for identical as well as non-identical twins. The authors then concluded that higher leisure time physical activity led to a lower risk for developing Type 2 diabetes than lower amounts of physical exercise in individuals with the same or similar sets of genes.
Everyone Can Benefit From Exercise: Family history and genetics are aspects that we cannot alter, but isn’t it good to know that there is something over which we have some control when it comes to preventing and treating Type 2 diabetes? Ideally, it is best to exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes each day.
If exercise is too intense it can cause blood sugar to rise as the result of the release of stress hormones. So discuss with your doctor which form of physical activity is best for you:
- walking, swimming, and bicycle riding are good for increasing your heart rate and rate of breathing, improving circulation and lowering your blood sugar level
- dancing and sports are also aerobic exercises
- weight training is another type of exercise that has been shown to aid in blood sugar control. It is also good for building muscle, improving self-esteem and lowering depression
Choose something that you like so that staying with it is not an onerous chore. When you have achieved your weight and blood sugar goal. The idea is to stay with your exercise program to keep off excess weight and maintain good blood sugar control. The most obvious benefit of exercise is its ability to accelerate weight loss. The more physically active you become, the more calories you burn and the more efficiently you use your body insulin.
Check your blood sugar level before exercise and follow your doctor’s advice. If blood sugar is extremely high or too low. Delay exercise until your blood sugar levels are within a safe range. If your blood sugar levels are:
- lower than 100 mg/dL (5.6mmol/L)… eat a small carbohydrate snack before starting your physical activity
- between 100 to 270 mg/dL (5.6 to 15mmol/L)… this is usually a safe range at which to start exercise
- over 270 mg/dL (15mmol/L)… beware! Be careful with exercise when there is not enough insulin available in your body. Wait a couple of hours until your blood sugar level has gone down
Exercising at the same time each day along with a regular diet plan can lower your risk of losing control of your blood sugar levels.