Type 2 diabetes: Regular exercise has a positive effect on blood sugar levels, says study

Regular exercise has long been recognized as a beneficial lifestyle choice, but a recent study revealed its impact on blood sugar control in individuals with Type 2 diabetes.
View All Images Benefits of exercise for diabetes patients
Know the benefits of regular exercise for type 2 diabetes patients. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Manasvi Jain Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 06:26 pm IST
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With over 37 million Americans affected by diabetes, primarily Type 2 diabetes, apart from a healthy diet exercise emerges as a powerful tool for managing blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity. This comprehensive study underscores the importance of exercise as a first-line therapy for individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Let’s take a look at what this study was all about and which parameters did it consider to prove that regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine Open, sheds light on the comprehensive benefits of exercise for managing blood glucose levels. By examining various parameters, such as aerobic versus resistance exercise, timing, and the necessity of weight loss, researchers have provided valuable insights for healthcare professionals and individuals alike.

Exercise for blood sugar levels
Exercise regularly to manage your blood sugar levels! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Understanding the benefits of exercise for diabetics

Exercise plays a crucial role in controlling blood sugar levels for individuals with Type 2 diabetes. The study emphasizes the significance of two key forms of exercise: aerobic exercise and resistance exercise.

1. Aerobic exercise: Activities such as cycling, swimming, and walking that elevate heart rate and increase the body’s use of oxygen help effectively manage blood glucose levels.

2. Resistance exercise: Working muscles against resistance, such as using dumbbells, resistance bands, or body weight exercises, enhances insulin sensitivity, a vital factor in controlling Type 2 diabetes.

resistance bands
Exercising with resistance bands will be beneficial for diabetics! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Also read: Manage diabetes with the help of these 5 simple exercises

Other factors that can help to manage blood sugar levels

1. Movement throughout the day

Apart from dedicated exercise sessions, incorporating movement throughout the day by breaking up sedentary time provides additional benefits for blood glucose control and insulin levels. Small changes like taking short walks or stretching at regular intervals can have a positive impact.

2. Optimal timing of exercise

The timing of exercise also influences blood sugar management in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. The study suggests that performing exercise later in the day yields better control of blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity.

3. Exercise before or after meals

The study explores whether exercising before or after meals is more effective for blood glucose control. “While both approaches have benefits, exercising after a meal may offer a slight advantage,” says Steven Malin, an associate professor at the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences and an author of this study. However, the key message is that any exercise, regardless of timing, provides valuable benefits.

exercise after meals
Exercising after meals is more beneficial. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Weight loss vs exercise benefits

Contrary to popular belief, losing weight is not a prerequisite for reaping the benefits of exercise in managing blood sugar levels. Exercise itself contributes to reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass, resulting in improved insulin sensitivity.

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Malin aptly puts it “Exercise can be considered a drug”. Therefore, incorporating regular exercise into the daily routine can significantly contribute to better blood sugar control, overall health, and improved quality of life for individuals with Type 2 diabetes.

Remember, before starting any exercise regimen, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable and safe exercise plan tailored to individual needs and health conditions.

(With agency inputs from ANI)

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About the Author

Manasvi Jain is a professional writer with a keen interest in spreading awareness about various health and wellness issues through her articles. She writes well researched articles by connecting with various doctors and health experts. ...Read More

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