Diabetes And Exercise: Working Your Way Out Of This Disease
Posted Feb 06 2010 2:02pm
The process which converts the food you eat into the energy your body uses is far from simple. After every meal, the carbohydrate content of the food is broken down into a simpler form of sugar, which is also known as glucose, which is then carried to the different parts of your body via the bloodstream.
Your cells then get to work, transforming this glucose into energy which they use to function. However, if your body is bereft of the insulin it requires in metabolising this glucose, or if your cells do not respond to the insulin which the pancreas secretes, a disease known as Diabetes sets in which is one of the most widespread of its kind in today’s world.
Diabetes is renowned for the severe and often debilitating conditions that spring from it, many of which are permanent and some, life-threatening. However, the good news is that a majority of these conditions can be reversed, if not completely averted, with a few basic precautionary measures. These include regular and moderated meal times, timely intake of prescribed medication and most importantly, a constant check on your blood glucose levels. There is also a fourth element, namely exercise, which has a very important role to play in keeping your Diabetes under control.
One of the most devious advocates of diabetes is obesity, which also contributes significantly in further complicating the disease. You can steer away from falling into the obesity trap by supplementing your dietary regime with regular and moderate exercise. Aerobic exercises are undoubtedly a key factor in keeping your weight down to the target you and your physician determine. You can choose from an array of alternatives when it comes to aerobic exercise. You opt for low-impact aerobic classes, incorporate a walking routine into your daily schedule or even indulge in some form of sport which requires you to keep moving. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, five days a week, which you can also divide into 10 minute sessions through the day.
If the nerves of your feet have suffered on account of your diabetic condition, then you can opt for a form of aerobic exercise which isn’t quite as strenuous for your feet, but still burns a reasonable amount of calories. This can include bicycling, swimming or water aerobics and rowing. You can opt for either of these activities or work in a combination of all of them into your workout schedule to introduce an element of diversity. You can also incorporate strength training sessions into your fitness regime. Strength training exercises help your bones grow stronger while also developing your muscle tissue. An added advantage that strength training offers is being able to burn calories, even while your body is at rest. You can either join a class for a supervised workout, or buy a kit comprising of weights, elastic bands or plastic tubes and devise your own strength training schedule.
Before you work out a fitness regime for yourself, make sure to speak to your physician about your recommended levels of activity as well as the kind of exercise which will benefit your condition. Also, don’t plunge headlong into your regime, which will be more detrimental than advantageous, but work your way up as your body adjusts itself to your workouts. Try to keep your schedule as flexible as you can, so that even if you miss a session, you can compensate for it during the course of the day. Keep a close watch over your blood glucose levels, both before and after you exercise, to see how your blood sugar is responding to your workouts. In case of any uneasiness like hunger, dizziness and weakness during your workout session, stop at once. These are the initial symptoms of low blood sugar of Hypoglycemia which you need to treat with glucose pills, or half a cup of fruit juice until your blood sugar is above the minimum 70.
Type One Diabetes also leads to a complication known as Ketoacidosis, where your body produces toxins called Ketones which it expels with your urine. If you suffer from this condition, your physician may recommend that you refrain from any kind of physical activity to avoid the complications which may follow. You can also schedule your meal plan to allow a light snack before your exercise session, which will regularize your blood sugar levels and keep you from getting Hypoglycemic.
Regular exercise is not only invaluable in keeping your diabetes under control it is also a very effective way to deal with stress. Making sure your lifestyle is an active one allows you to ward off several ailments that accompany old age. The right time to start is right now. Make that call to your physician today and get started with your exercise regime the effects that follow, will speak for themselves!