Reduced Adipose Cell Size
Obesity is a known risk factor for developing diabetes and heart disease. Actually, itâs the leading risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Fact. And, if you carry that extra fat around your abdomen, you are at a much higher risk of all-cause mortality than people who store their excess fat in their thighs.
Exercise reduces fat cell size, specifically abdominal fat cells. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that women who both dieted and exercised had an 18% reduction in the size of abdominal fat cells compared to those that relied on diet alone.
Why is this important? A reduction in fat cellsâ size improves insulin sensitivity, lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
Think Before You Stink
Exercise and other physical activities are meant to be enjoyed. Managing your blood sugars effectively before, during, and after physical activity will ensure that you feel good, stay safe and perform your best. Its worth a few moments to plan out your blood sugar management strategies before exercise, because nothing will screw up a good workout like a high or a low. And if you would like some expert coaching in this area, drop me a line! There is nothing I like more than helping athletes to succeed.
Except maybe a fresh bagel.
Editors note: Gary Scheiner MS, CDE is Owner and Clinical Director of Integrated Diabetes Services, a private consulting practice located near Philadelphia for people with diabetes who utilize intensive insulin therapy. He is the author of several books, including . He and his team of Certified Diabetes Educators work with people throughout the world via phone and the internet. An exercise physiologist by trade, Gary has had type 1 diabetes for 25 years and serves on the Board of Directors for the Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association. He can be reached at , or toll-free at 877-735-3648.
Mitochondrial Function And Health
Most human cells contain tiny organelles called mitochondria. They are the âpowerhouseâ of the cell, generating the cell’s energy currency known as adenosine triphosphate . These tiny powerhouses convert chemical energy into energy that the body can use by turning glucose into oxygen and ATP.
Research published in the journal Cell Metabolism shows that exercise increases the number of mitochondria in the muscle cells. Not only that, but it causes them to function better too! The more efficiently they work, the better you perform. More mitochondria mean your cells turn more glucose into energy. This makes your body more insulin sensitive. So, through exercising, you are helping to lower your risk of diabetes.
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Do I Opt For Weight Training If I Have Diabetes
Undergoing weight training is essential part if you have diabetes. Weight training increases your strength. Start with light weight and then jump to higher ones, but with the prior consultation of the gym instructor. You may use light dumbles each day and then go to heavier ones. Working on your muscles, back and butts will improve your posture.
You must take care of your diet in case you want to go for that six pack figure. Opting for a proper protein diet along with exercising and avoiding carbohydrates are essential.
People who have type2 diabetes must start with slow walking and then gradually speeded up. You should always keep in mind that unnecessary speeding up at the treadmill or cross trainer might hurt the joints. So, a slow and steady policy is a better one. Regular and efficient exercises will help to keep away from diabetes. Moreover, you will gain confidence, good posture, and a healthy body when you exercise.
How Exercise Affects Blood Sugar
The body relies on two sources of fuel during physical activity: glucose and fat, according to Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center. Prolonged or intense forms of exercise deplete blood glucose and glycogen stores as follows:
- During the first 15 minutes of exercise, the body relies mainly on blood glucose or muscle glycogen for fuel.
- As exercise continues, the body starts re-converting liver glycogen into glucose.
- After 30 minutes, the body starts to rely more on body fat.
- The body will eventually rebuild its glycogen stores , but exercise can lower blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours.
Exercise also makes the body more sensitive to the effects of insulin, meaning that more glucose is moved out of the blood and into the cells, according to the American Diabetes Association. Additionally, exercise prompts the cells to take in more glucose to meet the increased energy demands. This can also lead to lower blood sugars.
Exercise does not normally cause problematically low blood sugar for people without diabetes. In fact, reducing blood sugar levels through regular exercise is one of the best strategies to help prevent the development of diabetes, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Read more:6 Amazing Things Exercise Can Do for Your Brain and Body
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Diabetes Exercise And Foot Care
People who have had diabetes for a long time or those who have consistently high BGLs are at higher risk of developing foot problems. If you have nerve damage to your feet this makes you more prone to injury and to problems such as foot ulcers.
The health of your feet should be checked regularly by a podiatrist to make sure you are safe to do the exercise you are planning.
You can prevent foot injuries and infections by:
- wearing well-fitting socks and shoes check that shoes are long enough, wide enough and deep enough
- wearing the right shoe for the activity you are doing
- inspecting your feet daily
- having annual foot checks by a podiatrist
- reporting to your doctor any changes to your feet, such as redness, swelling or cuts or wounds, as soon as you detect them.
Exercise Tips For Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise is sure to be on your to-do list if you have diabetes. Get started with these go-to tips:
1. Make a list of fun activities. You have lots of options, and you don’t have to go to a gym. What sounds good? Think about something you’ve always wanted to try or something you enjoyed in the past. Sports, dancing, yoga, walking, and swimming are a few ideas. Anything that raises your heart rate counts.
Adventure sports like rock-climbing or scuba-diving should be safe if youâre in good health aside from diabetes. Make sure to get the right training. Donât do these activities alone, because you may need help if your blood sugar gets too low . Take some fast-acting carbs like a sports gel, glucose tablets, or even a tube of cake icing with you.2. Get your doctor’s OK. Let them know what you want to do. They can make sure you’re ready for it. They’ll also check to see if you need to change your meals, insulin, or diabetes medicines. Your doctor can also let you know if the time of day you exercise matters.
3. Check your blood sugar. Ask your doctor if you should check it before exercise. If you plan to work out for more than an hour, check your blood sugar levels regularly during your workout, so youâll know if you need a snack. Check your blood sugar after every workout, so that you can adjust if needed.
4. Carry carbs. Workouts can lower your blood sugar. Always keep a small carbohydrate snack, like fruit or a fruit drink, on hand in case your blood sugar gets low.
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Why Does My Blood Sugar Level Increase After Exercise
It is often found that vigorous exercise sometimes enhances the blood sugar levels instead of lowering it. This is not an unusual occurrence. People with high blood sugar level are encouraged to do exercise regularly to control the blood sugar level. In fact, when it comes to maintaining diabetes, blood sugar and exercise usually goes hand in hand. Exercise has a very significant role not only in controlling the blood sugar level but also in boosting the overall fitness of our body and also in reducing the risk of heart disease and avoiding a stroke. However, people facing the problem of increasing blood sugar levels right after exercise should take them seriously and consult with doctors.
Exercise Makes It Easier To Control Your Diabetes
When you have type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your treatment plan. Its also important to have a healthy meal plan and maintain your blood glucose level through medications or insulin, if necessary.
If you stay fit and active throughout your life, youll be able to better control your diabetes and keep your blood glucose level in the correct range. Controlling your blood glucose level is essential to preventing long-term complications, such as nerve pain and kidney disease.
Staying physically active helps boost your overall wellness, especially if you have type 2 diabetes. Photo: 123rf
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What Health Benefits Do I Enjoy If I Exercise On A Regular Basis
- Your blood pressure gets lowered.
- LDL or bad cholesterol is cut off
- HDL or good cholesterol gets raised.
- Your blood flow is improved a lot.
- You are lesser prone to heart-related disease. Lesser chances of getting a stroke or cardiac attack.
- You have total control on stress
- Your energy and mood get boosted.
- You gain good body posture.
Glucose Metabolism During Moderate
Skeletal muscle is responsible for most of the uptake of glucose after a meal, and transport of glucose into the muscle is considered the limiting step in glucose disposal., Glucose transport occurs primarily by diffusion utilizing glucose transporter carrier proteins . Both exercise and insulin regulate glucose transport mainly by the translocation of the GLUT4 isoform from an intracellular compartment to the plasma membrane and transverse tubules., GLUT4 levels are considered an important determinant of insulin sensitivity,
At rest and postprandially, glucose uptake is insulin-dependent, with the major purpose being the replenishment of muscle glycogen stores. Insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation is generally impaired in type 2 diabetes. During exercise, muscle utilizes glucose made available by intramuscular glycogenolysis and by increased glucose uptake. Both aerobic and resistance exercises increase GLUT4 abundance and translocation, and hence blood glucose uptake by a pathway that is not dependent on insulin. Glucose uptake into contracting muscle is therefore normal even in the presence of type 2 diabetes.,, Following exercise, glucose uptake remains elevated with the contraction-mediated pathway remaining active for several hours.
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Blood Sugar Management During And After Steady State Cardio
The general rule for steady-state cardio is that it will make your blood sugar decrease if you have any insulin on board . Some people dont start to see the effect until 20 minutes into a workout, and some will only see the effect during specific types of workouts.
What happens during steady-state cardio is that you increase the bodys use of blood glucose. So, if you have high levels of IOB during your cardio session, the muscles will take up more blood glucose and the risk of low blood sugar increases. This risk is not only increased during the cardio session, but also up to 48 hours after youre done.
Strategies for preventing low blood sugar during and after steady-state cardio
- Reduce the amount of IOB by adjusting your insulin
- Do your cardio fasting, or at least 4 hours after your last bolus
- If exercising for longer than 60 minutes, consider a carbohydrate and protein snack
- Consider adjusting basal insulin for up to 48 hours after a cardio session
For more information, you can read a detailed hour-by-hour description of how to manage insulin and food around cardio workouts in the post How to Prevent Low Blood Sugar during Cardio Workouts.
Will It Hurt Your Joints
Long-term diabetes can affect them. Over time, blood sugar starts to build up in them, a process called âglycation.â Good control over your disease can help delay it, but the longer you have the diabetes, the more likely it will happen.
Glycation can make your joints stiff and brittle. Pounding away with HIIT or making a lot of fast moves might be risky — one wrong move could lead to an injury. Routines that have you do the same moves over and over can cause problems. Stiff joints can also take a toll on your balance, setting you up for a fall.
Many people with type 2 diabetes take cholesterol medications called statins. They can cause muscle or joint pain, making it tough for you to do high-impact moves correctly or quickly. These drugs also make muscle or joint injuries more likely.
On the other hand, workouts like yoga, Pilates, and tai chi are good choices. Theyâll help you build your strength, balance, and flexibility.
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How Does Exercise Affect Blood Sugar
When you exercise, your body needs extra energy from blood sugar, also called glucose.
When you do something quickly, like a sprint to catch the bus, your muscles and liver release glucose for fuel.
Exercise usually lowers your levels. If you take insulin or diabetes meds, a boost in workout intensity or length can mean youâll have to adjust your snacks, medication, or both. Talk to your doctor about whatâs right for you.
The big payoff comes when you do moderate exercise for a longer time, like a hike. Your muscles take up much more glucose when you do that. This helps lower your blood sugar levels. If you’re doing intense exercise, your blood sugar levels may rise, temporarily, after you stop.
Exercise thatâs too hard can raise your blood sugar by making it harder for your muscle cells to use insulin. A workout helps pump you up by causing small tears in muscle fibers. When they heal, your muscles are stronger. But if you arenât used to super-tough workouts like HIIT , they can do so much damage that days go by before you feel like moving again. During that time, your muscle cells canât use insulin well, and that will boost your blood sugar.
It may also rise if you skip workouts. If youâre so sore you canât make your next gym session, you probably need to dial it down. Thereâs no rush: Itâs better to build intensity slowly as you get used to a new routine. Youâre more likely to stick with it if you donât feel like youâve been through the wringer.
Veggies Or Fat Or Protein
I was taught to eat my salad first, then the meal but I read that you advised to break a longer fast with ¼ cup of Macadamia nuts, and an hour later a salad. He talked about the veggies doing their thing in the upper intestine, and the fat and protein in the lower. My question is which should I eat first to receive the best benefit. I eat once a day while fasting at least 24 hours. When 24 hours comes past 8 pm, I wait until the next day around lunch, then move ahead one hour each day and repeat.
I think you should eat the salad first. There is some data to suggest that eating the veggies first reduces insulin.
Dr. Jason Fung
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How To Overcome Exercise Resistance
Im too old. Im too overweight. Its just not worth the effort. Have you ever used these excuses not to exercise? Youre not alone. But the benefits of getting active include more energy, reduced blood sugar levels, weight loss and moreso its time to stop talking yourself out of it and start moving!
In his book, Diabetes Burnout: What to Do When You Cant Take It Anymore, Dr. William Polonsky explains seven ways to overcome exercise resistance:
Do You Have Any Complications
Some of the health problems that go along with type 2 can get worse or boost your odds of an injury, depending on what kind of exercise you do.
Diabetes-related nerve damage. The kind your doctor calls “peripheral neuropathy” can make you lose feeling in your feet and toes. It can also affect your balance and raise your chances of falling. If you have it, try not to run or jump. Choose an exercise that doesnât impact your joints, like swimming.
Another kind of nerve damage, autonomic neuropathy, can make you faint if you move around too fast.
Eye problems. Diabetes can cause new blood vessels to grow in your eyes — your doctor might call this “proliferative retinopathy.” Theyâre weak and often leaky. When you jump, lift heavy weights, make jarring moves, or hold your head down , these fragile blood vessels could bleed. If youâve had a dilated eye exam in the last year, your eye doctor can tell you if the workouts youâre interested in are safe.
If all you want to do is switch from one moderate type of exercise to another, you probably donât need to discuss it with your doctor. But if you want to ramp up your workout from moderate to intense, get checked out first. You might not be aware youâve lost feeling in your feet, and diabetes-related eye disease often has no symptoms early on.
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