Fitness Fact: Exercise & Diabetes

Since it is Diabetes Awareness Month, I wanted to share with you a bit of information regarding diabetes and exercise.  And if you don’t have diabetes, keep reading!  Chances are, you already know someone or will know someone diagnosed with this serious disease.

Did you know that exercise acts just like insulin?  Insulin is the key that allows blood sugar to enter into the cells of our body.  A person with Type I diabetes doesn’t supply enough insulin and a person with Type II diabetes doesn’t seem to respond to the insulin their body does supply.  Incidently, exercise can help people with either type of diabetes manage their blood sugar.

So whether you are healthy, have pre-diabetes, or have already been diagnosed with diabetes- get your body moving!  I’m not talking about hours at the gym, 30 minutes of walking everyday is enough to give your body the health benefits of exercise.  But if you already have diabetes, here are a few pointers to beginning an exercise program.

1.) Always talk to your doctor first.
2.) Check your blood sugar before you exercise (read this helpful article from The Mayo Clinic for more details).
3.) Check your blood sugar after you exercise
4.) Start slow and start small.  You aren’t in a hurry, slow and steady wins the race and every step counts!
5.) Try walking with a buddy.  This may help you feel safe and stay consistent.

Exercise is the #1 tool for chronic disease prevention and boosting your mood and energy levels today.  Whether it’s playing with your kids, raking leaves, or participating in a walk for charity you gotta’ move it!