Monday, March 29, 2010

Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes

What effect does exercise have on glucose levels?

When exercising, muscles use glucose for energy. At first, the body uses glucose converted from glycogen in the muscles. Then, glucose is taken from the bloodstream. During prolonged exercise, in order prevent blood glucose levels from becoming too low, glucagon and additional hormones are released. These hormones trigger the breakdown of stored fat into components the liver can convert into more glucose. With frequent and regular exercise, the body’s sensitivity to insulin improves and better glycemic control is developed.

Why is the effect of exercise on glucose levels important to those with type 2 diabetes?

Some studies demonstrate that patients with diabetes who exercise regularly have better glycemic control compared to those who do not. As insulin sensitivity improves with exercise, patients may need less medication to control blood sugar levels.

People with type 2 diabetes are particularly at risk for exercise-induced hypoglycemia during and after exercise. However, some patients with poorly controlled diabetes are at risk for hyperglycemia.

Should patients with type 2 diabetes exercise more often or differently than otherwise healthy people?

To maintain general health, experts recommend at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 90 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity spread over 3 or more days per week. There are no separate recommendations for those with diabetes.

What type of exercise is best for type 2 diabetes patients?

The type of exercise is less important than the how long and how frequent the exercise. Some studies suggest that participating in both aerobic activity and weight training offer more benefits than one or the other.

When should patients be discouraged from exercising?

Some patients have a higher risk of developing injuries from the stress of an intense exercise program. Such patients include those with higher cardiovascular risk, those over the age of 35, and those leading sedentary lifestyles. These patients should be thoroughly evaluated before beginning a new exercise program. Patients with severely low blood sugar levels should wait until their condition improves.

How might a patient be encouraged to exercise?

Encourage patients to start with small changes to their normal routine, like taking the stairs and not the elevator. Suggest activities that the patient finds enjoyable and convenient. Participation in several different activities may keep patients from becoming bored and losing interest. Having a partner or personal trainer can also help patients stay motivated.

You may want to check out this interesting post by my buddy Rusty;

Exercise and Diabetes – What Types of Exercise Help the Most?



About the Author - Su Rollins writes for hypoglycemic diet , her personal hobby blog focused on tips to prevent and cure hypoglycemia using the right diet and nutrition.
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