A recent review of the latest studies on diabetes and exercise showed that regular physical activity can significantly reduce the need for insulin and glucose-lowering medications. A Lancet study, published in November 2015, found that even prediabetes could be reversed with increased physical activity. While it is not possible for diabetics to completely avoid the need for medications or exercise, there are still many benefits of regular physical activity.
As a result of these benefits, many people with diabetes can improve their health and their blood glucose control by incorporating physical activity into their daily routine. Exercising helps the body to better utilize insulin, allowing cells to use glucose more efficiently. Exercise is also an important prevention tool for those with type 2 diabetes. It can prevent the development of heart attacks and other complications of the disease, including blockage of arteries. It also helps maintain good cholesterol levels, helping prevent the buildup of plaque and high blood cholesterol.
Change your diet and exercise routine to match your body’s needs. If you are new to exercising, start out slow and take baby steps. Aim for 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise three times a week, and then increase that to 60 minutes a week. Eventually, you can increase the amount of exercise you do to 150 minutes per week. A gradual approach to exercise will decrease the risk of injury.