You’ve been thinking of joining a gym, but you’re not sure whether it’s a good idea. While clubs like Fitness 19 make gym membership more affordable, the issue isn’t about money, convenient hours, or gym equipment. It’s about something else entirely: your diabetes. Should you exercise if you have diabetes? How will it affect your sugar level spikes and dips?
What you need to understand is that exercise helps you better control blood sugar. In fact, the worst thing you can do is not exercise! If you asked your doctor about it, he or she would encourage you to exercise.
10 Good Reasons to Exercise
Diabetes is a confusing topic. You have a limited choice when it comes to eating, and you are inundated with advice on what to do. Consequently, it can be difficult figuring out what to eat and what advice to pay attention to when it comes to easing the fatigue and confusion that comes from diabetes.
Exercise falls into the category of good things to do if you’re diabetic.
Here are 10 reasons to motivate yourself to exercise regularly:
- Exercise will lower your blood sugar levels. When you exercise, your working muscles will use more glucose than when you are not exercising. As you exercise, sugar is rushed to the muscles to help with your tensing and flexing motions. This, in turn, lowers sugar levels in your bloodstream.
- Exercise will improve your breathing, forcing you to inhale and exhale more, sending fresh oxygenated blood to your various organs.
- Exercise will improve cardiovascular health.
- Exercise will help with weight control, burning off the calories you have consumed earlier in the day.
- Exercise will lower the cortisol in your bloodstream and increase your endorphins. It will reduce stress.
- Exercise will sharpen your mind. Since your brain has to learn new exercises, monitor how well you do them, and coordinate your movements, exercise will stimulate the growth of new neurons. Neuroscientists call this process, neurogenesis.
- Exercise will make you look and feel better, which will raise your self-esteem.
- Exercise will improve the functioning of your endocrine system, and, as a result, improve your sex drive.
- Exercise will improve your athletic skills and make you less sedentary and more active. You will notice a progressive improvement in your energy levels.
- Exercise will make it easier to fall asleep and to enjoy more restful sleep.
Prevention Is the Best Cure
Exercise, which can be defined as any bodily activity that enhances fitness, wellness, and health, plays a huge role in disease prevention. The reason exercise offers effective intervention of serious illnesses is because it stimulates your immune system to work better.
Naturally, for exercise to be effective, it has to be done frequently and for a sufficiently long time.
Exercise has been shown to be effective in preventing or mitigating serious health issues like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. In fact, it can prevent these major diseases by as much as 50%, as well as reduce the risk of an early death by as much as 30%.
Besides helping the body, exercise helps the mind. It cuts stress, reduces depression, and prevents organic brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Exercise enhances cognitive ability because it stimulates the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
3 Types of Exercises to Do each Week
Once you decide to exercise more, you might be overwhelmed by the variety of exercises that you can do. Consequently, you might either just choose one form of exercise at random or feel too intimidated to even start exercising.
Exercising can be broken up into three main groups: exercises to build strength, exercises to build endurance, and exercises to increase flexibility.
When you lift weights, you will be focusing on building the strength of your muscles.
When you do any long-distance sport, like running, biking, or swimming, you will improve your cardiovascular health and increase your endurance.
And when you do any form of stretching exercises, you will increase your flexibility.
So the best type of weekly exercise plan is one that includes some weight-training, some aerobics, and some stretching. Each week, you will become stronger, improve your stamina, and increase your flexibility.
While almost any exercise you do will do a little of each, it’s advisable to stick to these three categories when deciding on your exercise plan for the week. For instance, weight lifting will also improve your endurance, but not as much as a focused session of using the treadmill.
What’s more, each type of exercise will improve your overall performance. When, for example, you stretch with yoga, you will be able to lift more weights because you have improved the efficiency of your nervous system through yoga.
Most People Don’t Exercise Enough
Despite the wide spectrum of benefits as well as the long list of diseases that exercise either mitigates or prevents, the number of people who exercise is distressingly low. According to wellness expert, Dr. Mercola, “Eighty percent of Americans fail to meet the recommended amount of exercise, which is 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity activity or 1.25 hours of vigorous-intensity activity each week … along with twice weekly strength-training workouts.”