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What is the Connection Between Exercise and Blood Sugar?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Diabetics are often well aware of the connection between exercise and blood sugar levels. Regular exercise can have an extremely positive effect on maintaining healthy levels of glucose in the bloodstream, while a sedentary lifestyle can increase reliance on medication as well as enhance the chances of suffering from a variety of diabetes-related health issues. Even a little exercise each day can go a long way toward keeping body weight within a reasonable range; improving circulation in the feet, legs, and hands; and minimizing the possibility of developing blindness, nerve damage, and kidney disease.

One of the major health concerns connected with diabetes is the impact of the disease on the body in general. An inability to properly process carbohydrates leads to increases in blood sugar levels that negatively affect just about every system in the body. The connection between exercise and blood sugar is that activities such as walking, bicycling, swimming, running and various types of aerobic exercise go a long way toward helping the body to process a reasonable amount of carbs in spite of the diabetes. This in turn means that people with diabetes are able to create the fuel needed to keep all the systems in the body functioning properly.

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The duration and frequency of activity is very important when it comes to understanding how the connection between exercise and blood sugar is beneficial over the long term. A minimum of thirty minutes of consistent and at least moderately challenging exercise each day has the effect of triggering the release of different chemicals that aid in the breaking down and conversion of carbohydrates to energy. Those components are not stored in the body, but are instead used as fuel. The end result is that the body gets the benefits in terms of strengthening the various systems with the prolonged activity, including keeping circulation in the arteries and blood vessels at acceptable levels. This in turn means that the blood carries nutrients to every area of the body, providing those organs with what is needed to maintain health.

There are also emotional and mental benefits to understanding the relationship between exercise and blood sugar levels. Exercise prompts the release of chemicals that help to regulate and stabilize mood, focus, and mental clarity. As many diabetics know, the potential for developing depression, various types of anxiety disorders, and even phobias is somewhat increased with diagnosis. Regular exercise aids in preventing those issues from developing, making it possible to enjoy a higher quality of life.

While there is an important connection between exercise and blood sugar regulation, patients must also be mindful of eating the right foods, getting adequate rest at night, and taking any medications prescribed by a qualified physician. Living with diabetes means taking proactive steps to manage the disease and encourage optimal health using all the available tools. By following a balanced diet, taking medication as directed, and getting at least thirty minutes of exercise each day, diabetics can enjoy a higher degree of mental and physical health, and live many more years without experiencing a wide range of additional health woes.

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