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