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Exercise And Diabetes
A DiabetesTeam Member asked a question 💭

What percentage of people with diabetes exercise daily?

posted February 3, 2022
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A DiabetesTeam Member

Personally I have been able to get my Diabetes type2 readings down from around 7 to 8 over the past few years to 4.9 to 5. 8 by watching my diet (and maintaining the substantial amount weight I lost (15 kilogramnes) in 2017when I was ill with Pneumonia which filled my lungs and airways with inflammation)
I have maintained that weight loss predominantly by walking exercise up to 7.000 steps most days. I don’t like the word “Exercise” as well
Regards Judy

posted February 5, 2022
A DiabetesTeam Member

It's not that I mean you need to do some "high impact stuff".

I will try to better explain what I mean.

For the many years "before" I was diagnosed I worked in the same job. Climbed the stairs, ladders, heaved heavy boxes and walked the warehouse dozens of times a day.

Yes, that is and was "exercise" but despite "all that exercise" I was still diagnosed.

So while it may have delayed that diagnosis for a bit, it certainly was "not enough" to control it at it's current state.

Moving forward if I wanted (or needed) to use exercise to effect my blood sugar it would have to be "in addition" to what I was already getting or there would be "no additional benefit".

Likewise, even if I had walked my dog for 2 miles a day that was just "routine" which still would have left me diagnosed. So unless I walked the dog (now) for 3 miles or 4, I would not be "exercising to help with my blood sugar", rather I would simply be undertaking an activity, which could still be called exercise but all it would do is maintain the "status quo", it wouldn't be "improving" anything.

And that is the point I was trying to make.

Yes, whatever we do as part of our routine will maintain, prevent from getting worse, but will not "improve". That would require an "additional" activity to burn a little more of that blood sugar.

posted February 4, 2022 (edited)
A DiabetesTeam Member

From everything I have read in studies (which I trust over some "opinion" on the net) there seems to be two broad benefits to exercise with regards to diabetes.

First, it is an effective way to knock down a spike or kinda smooth out how high we might go following a meal - so there is an "immediate reward" but of course we can't do the "20 minute workout" every time we put something in our mouth.

But in the longer term picture it can help lower insulin resistance. When we exercise our cells are "more prone" to take in sugar - they need to provide the energy needed for the exercise.

And while we are still "somewhat diminished" and will fatigue quicker, because they are "hungry" they can overcome some of the resistance. And if you are persistent in your exercise they will get more efficient.

Plus you will build "some level of muscle" - maybe a little, maybe a lot which will provide "more hungry mouths to feed" with a subsequent reduction in body fat - so between those two (things) insulin resistance will likewise improve - maybe a little, maybe enough to really show up on the glucose meter (it's metabolic so there are no certainties)

It's this secondary benefit that will start to show up, in time, more in your fasting number because often our fasting numbers (assuming you are following a decent diet, taking your meds etc) usually are seen in a tighter range than our after meal numbers which are totally dependent on what we put in our mouths, so it's easier to "notice" any movement in our average fasting numbers.

Absolutely there is benefit, it's just not always "instant gratification" and some will give up before they do actually see any benefit because many of us want to see a "reward" for all our hard work and we want to see it "quickly".

Reshaping your Metabolism, that took decades to "mess up" is not a fast process 😀

posted February 4, 2022
A DiabetesTeam Member

Thank you all for your responses to my question about exercise. I personally feel that exercise alone will not prevent my diabetes, but it seems to keep the numbers in better range. But I also agree that it depends on the time and duration of the exercise. I try to achieve 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, play 90 minutes of tennis three days a week, and lift light weights three days a week. I am 73 years old and my last A1C was 5.9. It is diet that is the most important part of maintaining control. Exercise, I believe helps in this process.
Thanks again

posted February 4, 2022
A DiabetesTeam Member

Graham, not that I disagree with your decision but I feel as though you do exercise of walking and working because it's movents of physical actions and it doesn't have to be jumping, running, workouts, treadmill. Working is moving unless you're sitting for long periods of time. I work too with my mobile infants and they're walking and exploring everything in our classroom so we're on our feet most of the day moving except during their feeding and nap.

posted February 4, 2022

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