Exercise Has Tangible Benefits for People With Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the conditions that you have some power over, and you’re about to get simple and easy tools to help you better your situation.

Your muscles are the main site of glucose clearance. Yes, some glucose gets stored in your liver, but your muscles store the most. After a meal, blood glucose will go to the muscles and the liver first; when they are full, your fat cells will store the extra.

This means that it’s very important that you enlist the help of your muscles to maintain proper glucose levels. Without them, it’s very hard to be successful at managing your blood sugar. Activating your muscles on a regular basis will make them thirstier for glucose. This will make them more sensitive to insulin and make it easier to clear glucose out of the blood. Does that mean you need to become a weight lifter?

No, let’s start off easy: Sit less. If you think about it, you sit during your commute, you may sit at work, you sit for meals, and you sit in front of the TV. Recent research on the negative effects of prolonged sitting is very strong. Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk, is credited with coining the now-common phrase “sitting is the new smoking.”

Did you know that sitting less could influence your blood glucose? When healthy young people sit for most of the day, for only one day, they become less sensitive to insulin. Also, long sitting periods can reduce the health benefits of a regular exercise routine. So if this article gets you to change only one habit, this is it.

What can you do? For starters, break it up. Make it a habit of standing up every 30 to 60 minutes. These brief interruptions will have a positive effect; research shows that reducing your sitting time by just 25% can have a significant influence. Set an alarm to tell you to get up and move, so that periodically you’ll get up from your chair and walk around for a few minutes.

Now that you are on your feet a bit more and taking a few steps, remember that it all adds up — every bit of movement is important. Make a habit of walking a few minutes before getting into work, and do the same when you leave. Take the stairs instead of riding the escalator. Go for a walk around the block at lunch time. Grab every chance you can to move. Don’t be the person who waits in line to stand on the escalator; the stairs may be faster, and they’re definitely more beneficial.

Obviously, the more movement you include in your life, the more control you’ll have. It’s never too late to take back control of your blood sugar and your health. It is within your reach.

 

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