Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise

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What Is Diabetes?

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Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects your body’s ability to turn food into energy. Most of the food you consume is broken down into sugar (glucose) and enters your bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes and exercise will show you that it is absolutely imperative to incorporate physical activity into their treatment. It is also important to have healthy and balanced nutrition which will with a help of medication or insulin ensure that you maintain your blood sugar levels. The Keto diet is giving a lot of very good results for people with diabetes.

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Diabetes Caused Diseases

A lot of people suffering from diabetes are overweight as a cause of the disease, losing weight is very important in this case, and what better way to accomplish that than through a good workout. Regular exercise will help you to control your diabetes and glucose levels in your blood, a very important thing because diabetes is the cause of many other diseases.

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Some are short term, like:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Whiteness of skin
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness in fingers, toes, and lips
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Slurred speech

Long term diseases are the more dangerous ones:

  • Eyes: If blood glucose is at a bad level for a long period, it can cause cataracts and/or retinopathy in the eyes. Both can cause loss of vision
  • Kidneys: Kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy) leads to impaired kidney function, dialysis, and kidney transplant. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause the kidneys to fail
  • Nerves: Nerve damage is also known as diabetic neuropathy. The tiny blood vessels bring blood to your nerves, so if the blood vessels are damaged, the nerves will be damaged as well.
  • The Heart, Brain, and Blood Vessels: The large blood vessels can also be affected, causing plaque to build up and that is leading to a heart attack, stroke, or vessel blockage in the legs

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These are all very dangerous diseases and one might ask himself how to go about type 2 diabetes and exercise? Well, the main thing here is to control your glucose level with the help of exercise but it’s more than that because you also get all the other benefits of exercising and being active.

During a workout muscles use glucose, and they do that without the need or help of insulin, in that way lowering the blood glucose level. Another thing is very well-known, a good cardio workout does miracles for the heart and cardiovascular system, which is of great importance since diabetes is ruining heart and cardiovascular health.

People who have insulin resistance can benefit from exercising also, physical activity lowers that resistance so glucose usage becomes more efficient.

Now, let’s see some other benefits regular exercise has to offer:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better control of weight
  • Increased level of good cholesterol
  • Stronger muscles
  • Stronger bones
  • More energy
  • Improved mood
  • Better sleep
  • Stress management

Before Workout

Before undertaking any kind of activity you should consult with your doctor to get the best advice about what kind of exercises are safe for you according to the state of your heart and overall health. Set realistic goals for yourself, it is best to start slow and increase the intensity of the workouts with time. Make sure you have enough water and insulin or any other medication you are using with you at all times.

Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise Types

There are a few kinds of exercises you can do. Aerobic, anaerobic (resistance training), and stretching, you should aim to mix all three of them in a good workout because that is how to get the best results.

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Aerobic exercises

Aim to get at least half an hour of a good workout.

  • Tennis
  • Dancing and Zumba
  • Jogging/Running
  • Walking
  • Basketball
  • Swimming
  • Biking

Over time try to increase the time of your workout and also try to include some other activities in your daily routine, like a walk at lunch, or some kind of team game with your family after dinner, cleaning the house, gardening, and so on.

Resistance training

When you get used to training then you can start adding resistance training to your schedule. This kind of exercise helps you activate and gain muscles, the more muscles you have more glucose during the workout gets used by them thus reducing glucose levels in your blood. Another benefit of this is that the more muscles you have the higher is your metabolic rate, which means more calories get burned thus losing more fat in the process.

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The most common way of resistance training is with weights, but you can use resistance rubber bands or your own body weight well. A good idea would be to take membership in a local gym where you will have access to all equipment you need for resistance training and the professional experts to help you with your form, usage of the equipment, and advice that are right for you because of diabetes.


This is something a lot of people neglect very often but it is a must. Before exercise, it prepares muscles and joints for work, and after it helps the muscles to relax and prevents soreness.

Active At All Times

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Sometimes it is difficult to stay active, maybe you are very busy, or maybe there is a pandemic like COVID19 and gyms are closed. Anyway, there are a lot of things to do at home like cleaning the house, some DIY you’ve been postponing, or gardening. There are things to do when you are traveling too. Get off the bus one stop earlier than you need to, cycle instead of using a car, walk, take a set of resistance bands with you, they can be used any time and anywhere. When at work take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to a meeting, and do chair exercises like sitting and lifting your arms up.

And last but not least, you can utilize some fitness apps like Cronometer or MyFitnessPal for nutrition and calorie counting. BodyFit or Aaptiv are apps that help with training, nutrition, recipes, and more. Those apps have real professional trainers to guide you through everything you need to achieve your goals.


For all of this to work, you will need a strong will and commitment to exercise regularly. It can be tough but if you have a goal envisioned in front of you, you can do it. This goal will keep you motivated and you’ll feel better, look better, and be healthier. Most importantly, your body will become more efficient at using its insulin and glucose.

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