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Exercise and Diabetes

Written By: Nichol Manthey, Personal Trainer – Adventure 212 Fitness

The thought of adding or increasing exercise while working with a condition like diabetes can be a bit overwhelming.  Type 1, Type 2, Gestational or prediabetes, no matter the type diabetes I believe exercise could not only be used as a preventative measure but way to manage your diabetes if not (in some cases) reverse the effect of diabetes.

The struggle weather to exercise or not exercise with diabetes comes down to one key item.  Blood Glucose levels.   It is very important (at first) to know your blood glucose levels at all times before, during and after exercise since glucose response to physical activity differently in people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Which can result in hypoglycemia.  This can be overwhelming at first, but it’s definitely worth the try right?  Once you understand your exercise patters and how exercise impacts your blood glucose levels, you can prevent blood glucose levels from spiking or dropping too low.

We all know exercise is good for you no matter the condition.  Planned structured physical activity a.k.a. exercise is great for numerous reasons.  To name a few aerobic exercise(running, swimming, walking) increases lung function and decreases insulin resistance.  Resistance training (free weights, bands, machines) improves muscle mass and improves insulin sensitivity; and H.I.T.T (high intensity interval training) increases your skeletal muscular capacity and promotes glycemic control in Type 2 and can also be performed without detereation of glycemic control in Type 1.  Therefore, combining aerobic & resistance training as well as including H.I.I.T training on a regular basis can provide glycemic control and lower your A1C.

The long and short, while as with anything that is worth working on is worth fighting for; and does require a bit of extra time and effort.  Adding a regular structured exercise regiment to your weekly schedule would be greatly beneficial with our without diabetes.