American Diabetes Month: How Exercise Can Help Manage Diabetes
Exercise has innumerable health benefits -- weight management, lowered blood pressure, and cholesterol management among them -- but people with diabetes are among those whose health can be most improved by regular physical activity. Exercise doesn't just help diabetics regulate blood sugar, but improves their glucose metabolism and reduces their risk of heart disease. Read on to learn tips on how to work out with diabetes!
Benefits of Exercise for People with Diabetes
Regular exercise can have significant, beneficial effects on both blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. When you exercise:
- Insulin sensitivity is increased, allowing your muscles to better use insulin to process glucose.
- Muscle contraction increases glucose metabolism even in the absence of insulin availability.
- Blood sugar is lowered: in studies, HbA1c values dropped 0.7 percentage point on average, regardless of diet, medication, or ethnicity.
All forms of exercise -- aerobic, resistance, and combined training -- have been shown to be equally effective at lowering blood sugar, although combining aerobic and resistance training has the largest impact on lowering insulin resistance.
Tips on Exercising with Diabetes and Treating Hypoglycemia
Physical activity can lower your blood sugar for 24 hours or more after exercise, which can put you at risk for hypoglycemia if your insulin dose or carbohydrate intake isn't adjusted for exercise. Make sure to check your blood sugar before any physical activity, and consult with your diabetes care team before you begin an exercise regimen.
If you experience hypoglycemia during or after exercise, treat it by following the 15-15 Rule.
The 15-15 Rule:
- Check your blood sugar.
- If your blood sugar is 100 mg/dL or lower, raise it with 15-20 grams of carbohydrates. This might consist of any of the following:
- 4 glucose gel tablets (4 grams per tablet).
- 1 glucose gel tube (15 grams per tube).
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of juice or regular, non-diet soda.
- 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey.
- After 15 minutes, check your blood sugar again. If it's still below 100 mg/dL, have another serving of 15 grams of carbohydrates.
- Repeat these steps every 15 minutes until your blood sugar reaches or exceeds 100 mg/dL.
If hypoglycemia is an obstacle to regular physical activity, speak to your healthcare provider about the best treatment plan for you.
How Mountain Ice Can Help Improve Exercise for People with Diabetes
Both Mountain Ice Pain Relief Gel and Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel can be extremely effective components of an exercise plan for someone with diabetes. No matter your activity level and physical capabilities, we've got a Mountain Ice variety that will help relieve your aches and pains and let you enjoy being active:
- Pain Relief Gel: The perfect blend of rich ingredients formulated to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and promote better nerve and joint healing.
- Sports Recovery Gel: Our unique formula relieves pain, reduces swelling, prevents muscle spasms, and speeds up recovery from exertion, while enhancing performance and longevity.
Please consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional before stopping or starting any medications, supplements, or health regimens.