Yes, exercising can improve anyone’s health, but it’s especially valuable for people with diabetes. Exercise can be crucial for people with diabetes if they are also overweight, especially those with type 2 diabetes, whose weight is a likely contributor to their disease.
Delaine Wright, a certified diabetes educator, an exercise physiologist, and a self-proclaimed “exercise nut” who happens to have type 1 diabetes, urges all her clients with diabetes to get regular exercise. It can be a tough sell, but she believes in her product. After all, regular exercise greatly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, by far the leading killer of people with diabetes. Exercising also helps to keep the body limber and ward off depression.
For many patients with type 2 diabetes, physical exertion can often rein in high blood sugar as effectively as a medication. Not only does exercise burn extra sugar in the blood, it also helps make the body more sensitive to insulin.
While patients who have diabetes will still require medication, some people with type 2 diabetes who embrace exercise and a healthy diet may be able to reduce their medications (under the supervision of their physician).
In fact, the current guidelines from the American Diabetes Association stress that exercise can help patients control their blood sugar. In one study involving nearly 20,000 pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes, researchers concluded that