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Exercise and Diabetes: The connections you need to know

It’s a scary but accurate fact, statistics suggest that around 1.7 million Australians currently live with Diabetes. This number is unfortunately moving in an upward trajectory with many more Australians living without knowing they have the condition – which is a very alarming thought!

As Accredited Exercise Physiologists, we work with a number of people living with the condition and that’s why we wanted to write this blog to give you our top reasons why you should turn to movement as a way to manage Diabetes!

How Exercise Can Support Your Health

Controlling your blood glucose levels

Controlling your blood glucose levels is fundamental to living a healthy life. The good news is that exercise and movement can force your muscles to use more glucose, and this in turn means you are lowering your blood glucose levels or BGLs! 

Managing and preventing Hyperglycaemia 

Hyperglycaemia is another way of saying that BGLs are too high (over 11 mmol/L). Exercising when your blood glucose is higher than normal can actually lower your levels. 

However, if you are unwell and your BGLs are very high it is best to avoid exercising until your BGLs have returned to a more normal range. We also suggest those who have BGLs above the normal range are more at risk of dehydration so increase your fluids to stay hydrated when you exercise.

Exercise can help you manage your weight

For those living with Diabetes, managing your weight and maintaining a healthy weight range is vital to being in control of your condition. Even the smallest amount of weight loss (think 5-10% loss) can make a huge difference to condition management and reduction of any future complications.

Safeguarding your body for the future

Exercise is fantastic at preventing future health complications for all Australians, but for those with Diabetes this is even more relevant. 

Working with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist to create an exercise program can help prevent major issues such as damage to large (macrovascular) and small (microvascular) blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, gums, feet and nerves.

Supporting your mental health 

Coping with the everyday requirements and health effects of Diabetes can create a toll on even the strongest of minds. Living with the condition long term can lead to an increase in general mood swings, anxiety and depression. 

The good news is exercise is one of the best mood boosters around! Research shows that as little as 10-15 minutes of movement can increase the feel good chemicals in our body!

Final Thoughts

As you can see exercise can be a the best medicine for both our bodies and minds! 

If you would like to introduce more movement into your life with the support of an exercise expert who is trained to work with chronic conditions – it’s time to get in touch with our friendly team today. 

Remember, any movement is good movement! Click here to chat with our friendly team today.

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