How Physical Fitness Can Prevent Diabetes
The human body needs specific levels of blood sugar or glucose, which is regulated and maintained by hormones called insulin and glucagon. Insulin breaks, or converts, the blood sugar into energy which is required for normal metabolic activities. Improper production or release of insulin causes blood sugar to rise, which in turn can result in a number of complications including Type II Diabetes.
There are a number of causes / risk factors for diabetes and it’s important to know if you are at risk for the disease then talk to your doctor. You can read our articles on these here: Causes of Type II Diabetes and Risk Factors for Type II Diabetes.
Type II Diabetes and your daily physical activities are very much related. According to experts, a sedentary life or lack of exercise is one of the most common causes of Diabetes and it is possible for a person to reverse or prevent Diabetes by simply doing half-an-hour of exercise regularly. So, the first question that arises is: What is the connection between Diabetes and exercise?
Studies have shown that regular exercise increases the daily energy consumption which stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin so that body can convert maximum amount of glucose into energy.
Regular exercise of a moderate level performed for at least 30 minutes, five times a week can assist in both losing weight and increasing the body’s ability to metabolize ingested glucose. Studies show that patients who have added a regular exercise program have reported distinctive lower diabetic levels.
Type of Exercise known to Help
There are a number of exercises known to assist in controlling blood glucose levels, let’s take a closer look at some:
Deep Breathing Exercises:
While it may sound as though breathing deeply isn’t exactly an exercise, it has an almost domino effect on the body when it comes to diabetes. With deep breathing exercises we are inhaling a larger amount of oxygen. This causes the blood to be enriched with oxygen and the circulatory system within the body becomes more efficient. Every cell within the body receives an adequate amount of oxygen – which is essential for the proper functioning of cells and tissues. The deep breathing exercise also works to increase cellular activity and leads to a more rapid consumption of glucose by the cells. That rapid consumption then stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin so that it can convert extra glucose into Glycogen. Simply put: Your body works better with the added boost of oxygen.
Aerobic exercise (also known as Cardio) is a great way to prevent or reverse Type II Diabetes. Experts state that one hour of regularly scheduled aerobic exercise can prevent or reverse diabetes without difficulty. The word ‘aerobic’ means ‘requiring air’ – so it’s almost as if this would fall under the heading of deep breathing exercises. But aerobics (cardio) is a bit more than that. Aerobics refers to the use and amounts of oxygen used to meet the energy demands during the exercise program. Typically, aerobics are a long duration, low intensity exercise program that boosts the heart and lungs and increases oxygenation to the cells and tissues. Aerobic activities include:
- Aerobics Classes
- Cross Country Skiing
There are many other exercises that you can do which will help you in keeping your diabetes in check, reverse your condition or prevent diabetes completely. Keep in mind that the goal is two-fold. First, you want to increase oxygen to your cells and tissues to help your body to better function and metabolize your glucose and increase natural insulin production. Secondly, exercise will assist you by maintaining your body at a healthy weight as well as keeping your body mass index under 25.
Aside from the perks of what exercise can do for your diabetic condition, physical activity also increases self-esteem and body image, boosts metabolism, the increased oxygen also stimulates the brain and allows you to learn better and retain the information absorbed, reduces stress, can give you a general feeling of well-being. With all these benefits, you can’t lose.
One more thing to keep in mind that will assist you with your physical fitness goals is a good diet. We have information on a diabetic diet that can assist you, but be sure to speak with your doctor before starting any dietary or physical activity changes to your routine.
The good news is that Type II Diabetes can be prevented and sometimes reversed through the lifestyle changes of both physical activity and diet. By making exercise part of your daily routine – quite literally – you can take an ‘active’ role in your health and longevity.