There is a lot of info out there on the benefits of exercise. Did you know that weight bearing exercise raises BG, where as aerobic lowers the BG. Important facts. I do some weight bearing-push ups, pull ups, and side plank lifts at night before bed to raise the BG early thus tapering by the dawn, instead of raising at dawn. I also use walkiing, kayaking, biking to lower after meals. Development of muscle is also a key as BG/insulin is ablsorbed into lean muscle easier, that is the reason for weight bearing.
Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution actually recommends weight lifting/muscle building exercise over aerobics for diabetics. I just sent a question into his website about my sugar dropping during exercise, only to find the answer on pp. 220-222: For me, I need to actually take 1/2 glucose tab every 15 mintues during the exercise session. I have been climbing the high sand dunes as well as swimming and walking 1 mi. a day, and doing core exercises in the gym. My favorite equipment is the BOSU ball and TRX straps that attach to the wall.
Exactly right, Beta. Skeletal muscles use that glucose as fuel, making the body more efficient.
My work involves carrying heavy trays laden with food. In essence, I'm using most of my larger muscles trying to keep the thing afloat (meaning no hot soup on anyone - LOL) and walking all over the place at the same time.
With this job, my BS has been the most stable, though at times it's a struggle to keep it up above 70. That's because of the insulin. I've had to play with dosaging and how much I can work. Day to day is quite different. Even though I don't do "formal" exercise, the physical activity has been a blessing in disguise. As Jacob found out, too, my BS remains in the normal range many hours after work.
People need to MOVE in order to keep that BS in control. Don't care what kind of moving. Keep moving and you will find out just how efficient your body is.
I view exercise as the most important part of my diabetes management for two reasons: 1. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity, and 2. Exercise relieves stress which is a major cause of rapid blood sugar variation.
Most well controlled Type 2 Diabetics wind up living their lives in similar fashion. The reason being, Diabetes is a disease that rewards it's patients for good decisions and affords them "weapons" to help fight it. Examples:
1. Eat small portions and never skip meals. 2. Every meal is balanced and nutritious. 3. Timing is everything; each person has an optimum eating exercise and sleep schedule and it's followed with reasonable precision. 4. Daily exercise improves stability and predictability to blood sugar levels. 5. Rest is critical and drink plenty of water. 5. Take all medications as prescribed and test, regularly.
I think of T2 Diabetes as a "Fair and Square" disease. If you test, regularly, it's a disease that, literally, directs you on how to live and if you're attentive and willing to make adjustments (as described, above), you can live a very satisfying and happy life with, basically, no limits. On the other hand, if you're stubborn, uncompromising and hell-bent on doing things your way, the disease will kick you in the arse...every time.
People who study and learn to do the "basics", win. People who refuse to get educated and not make adjustments, lose....
Since 80% of Type 2 Diabetics are overweight and because of the importance of weight loss (if overweight) in restoring insulin sensitivity, I thought I'd add this post I made earlier on another board, here.
I'll add this seldom discussed fact as an example what these major weight losers discover during their weight loss journeys: What you eat is far more important than how many calories you consume...
Two people can both eat a 2,000 calorie diet. But depending on content, one person may burn only 200 calories to process and digest their food. Where as my diet may "burn" as much as 600 (of the 2000) calories. This is the "fallacy" of calorie counting that people simply fail to understand (to their own demise). So many people cry that they can't get "motivated" to exercise when if they simply changed their diet they could burn more calories through digestion than they could ever walk or bike in one hour at the gym!
Note: This is the very reason, btw, why meal replacement "shakes" and "bars" don't work, either. You burn nothing on the back-end to digest these "foods". Nutrition without the back-end "burn" expended through digestion does nothing to raise metabolism. Eating plenty of lean proteins, beans and lentils & fruits and vegetables raises metabolism, naturally, through digestion.
On a side note, many doctors warn of the dangers of overusing laxatives when fighting constipation. Reason being, it makes the colon and large intestines "lazy" and they loose musculature which exacerbates constipation even more.
Digestive problems (colitis, lactose intolerance, diverticulitis, IBS, Celiacs) are commonly associated with Obesity for much the same reason as people with constipation. Their past diet has made their digestive tract weak and lazy. Now, when they eat something high in fiber, their system takes much, much longer to process. Weak, slow digestion creates a lot of problems.
The point of the post is this...There are many ways to get "exercise".
Yes, 80% of folks with diabetes are obese or at least overweight. Then, there are those of us in a small group that are and have been at a normal or low weight. Most I ever weighted was 180 at 5'9", when diagnosed 169. Now, with diet and exercise, I stay around 150. After a 3 week vacation with Dad and his wife, I have dropped to 143-150. This with a complete change in diet that included cereal in the morning, more starches on the table, and people used to snacking on chips etc at lunch time. My numbers I never checked as Dr says there is not need to as long as I am in control. I walked, hiked, and exercised as usual. I have gained back a few lbs, but only to 145. Funny, but there is no family history of diabetes in either parents side, one of the reasons along with my weight history that family is in denial about me being diabetic.
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