Exercise gives you energy, gets your heart pumping and makes you feel great. Most doctors recommend people with diabetes to get some type of physical activity. Yet, studies show that as few as 39% of people with type 2 diabetes get regular exercise.
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Physical activity has an effect on blood glucose, but it really varies from person to person. You should become familiar with how your blood glucose responds to exercise. Check your blood glucose level frequently before and after exercise to see the benefits of the activity you’re doing and to see which type of exercise best fits your needs. Understanding how your body reacts to exercise can help prevent your blood glucose from going up or getting too low.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are a couple of ways that exercise lowers your blood glucose:
- Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity.
- When your muscles contract during activity, it stimulates another mechanism that is completely separate of insulin. This mechanism allows your cells to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not.
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