How exercise affects blood glucose levels
Evidence shows the benefits of exercise on both out physical and mental health. But how does it affect our blood glucose levels?
To help prevent type 2 diabetes (T2D), a well balanced diet and exercise are recommended, with studies suggesting that regular exercise can reduce the risk of T2D by between 30-50%. A well as this, exercise has also been shown to lower blood glucose levels, reduce body fat and improve cardiovascular function.
When we exercise, our muscles need energy and their quickest form is from glucose, which is usually consumed through our diets. Remember, the insulin helps to move the glucose out of the blood and into the cells to store it for energy, but when exercising, the body prompts the cells to take in more glucose to meet the energy demands, thus needing less insulin in this process.
There has been a lot of mention around whether aerobic exercise or resistance training is best for blood glucose control. Both aerobic activity, such as walking, running, cycling or swimming, and resistance training (weight training), have been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity and improve overall HbA1c levels. Therefore, it is recommended to incorporate a mixture of both aerobic and resistance training to help. But general movement and spending less time generally sat down throughout the day can also help.
Please remember that when undertaking new exercises, you should always consult your GP. If you would like support with getting more physically active to help benefit your blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetes, then you can sign up to one of our membership packages to get the support from one of our diabetes health and wellness advisors.
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