Diabetes: useful tips you should know for controlling blood sugar

Diabetes: Useful Tips For Controlling Blood Sugar

Have you been diagnosed with diabetes but unsure as to exactly what it means? You may understand the basics about it involving having a high blood sugar level – and that it is unhealthy to have. But do you really understand why and how diabetes damages your body?

What is it and how exercise can help prevent and manage diabetes

First we need to understand what glucose is. Glucose, which we get from food we eat, is one of the main sources of energy for the body. 

Now, onto Insulin. You have all heard of the word insulin, and if you are diabetic, you have more than likely heard of the term “insulin sensitivity”. Insulin, a hormone, is created in our pancreas and signals the body to move glucose from our blood into our tissue for storage and use. In someone who is diabetic, insulin is the key factor which is causing their high blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetics are unable to produce insulin while type 2 diabetics have less insulin sensitivity. This means that type 2 diabetics produce x amount of insulin, however that amount is not sufficient to move enough glucose from the blood into the cells of the body.   

Too much glucose in the blood damages the vessels it is travelling along, hence why it is important to have a stable blood glucose level. It not only damages the vessels, but the organs and many other systems within the body. 

How does exercise help with your blood glucose levels?

When we perform exercise we actually increase the bodies sensitivity to insulin. This means that the same amount of insulin you are creating is able to signal more glucose to travel from the blood into other tissue of the body. Great! Along with this, we are also inherently using glucose to fuel our workout. Awesome, we are already one step into reducing our blood glucose levels. 

Not all exercise is the same

There are two widely used definitions for exercise. Aerobic exercise (such as walking/running/bike riding) and resistance training (weight lifting). For optimal management of blood glucose levels, resistance exercise must also be performed in cohesion with aerobic exercise. Why you may ask? The reason as to why resistance training is important is that it increases muscle mass, and therefore increases the amount of glucose that can be used at any one time!

Tips for controlling blood sugar

Now that we have the basics, I am going to leave you with a few tips to take home with you.

Try and perform a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Try to perform moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise 5 times a week! This intensity is different for everyone, but essentially when you break a sweat and are puffed out at the end, you are doing it right.

Try to perform resistance training at least twice per week! This can be with your own body weight, with bands, in a gym. Anything really! Get creative (or let us do that bit for you ☺).

Finally, if life becomes busy, go no more than 2 days without exercise. Why? Because your bodies sensitivity to insulin stays heightened up to 48 hours post exercise. 

What are some things you currently do to manage your diabetes?

Diabetes Type II program at UniquePhysio

Did you know that if you have Type 2 diabetes you may be eligible for up to 8 group exercise physiology sessions per calendar year? The UniquePhysio Diabetes Program will help you to better self-manage and understand your diabetes and the effects it may have on your life. 

Book in for a free initial assessment, we’d be happy to discuss your diabetes and suggest ways to help manage your unique situation.

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