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Diabetes and Exercise

by IBD Medical on June 11, 2020

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On average, one in 11 adults has diabetes and almost half of these people are unaware that they have diabetes. One in two (46.5%) adults living with diabetes is undiagnosed. People with diabetes, on average, have more than double the medical expenditures (2.3 times higher) than non-diabetics. Approximately USD $673 billion is spent on diabetes, this is 12% of the global health expenditure.

Diabetes has been recognised as one of the fastest-growing chronic conditions and the number of people living with type 2 diabetes is increasing significantly per annum.  In regard to type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise may allow for the reversal of this type of diabetes. Additionally, those that have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic does not mean that type 2 diabetes is inevitable. An increase in physical activity and a change in diet can prevent or delay diabetes. Physical exercise and diet are crucial for leading a healthy lifestyle. 

Physical exercise can help to control diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes. Exercise can be effective even if it is simple and requires minimal equipment. Such as walking, running, swimming, cycling, dancing etc. Exercise is also fairly inexpensive in comparison to diabetes medications, insulin injections etc. Moderate exercise when performed regularly that results in weight loss have been shown to prevent insulin resistance that may lead to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

What is insulin and how does it work? Insulin is the main hormone that regulates and controls the entry of blood sugar from the bloodstream into the body to be used as exercise. Can exercise influence insulin? Exercise has an insulin-like effect on the body. This is because exercise increased the rate at which your muscles take the sugar from your bloodstream. So, exercise acts similarly to insulin as it empties the excess sugar in your bloodstream into your muscles. Exercise has countless benefits for people living with diabetes. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to improve insulin sensitivity. It can also increase glucose uptake by the cells as well as reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

When starting to exercise it is recommended to start gradually and exercise a little each day. Increasing the amount of daily exercise slowly. Start small and gradually build up. It is important to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program and set realistic goals. It is also important to monitor blood sugar levels closely when exercising, check blood sugar levels before and after exercising. Be wary of overexerting yourself which may lead to low blood sugars. Common signs of low blood sugar are; fatigue, dizziness, sweating, headaches and trembling. Dehydration is another area to be aware of when exercising. 

Exercise can be beneficial when living with diabetes.

Are you aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes? Being aware of the symptoms may help you, or a loved one. Below are some tell-tale signs of diabetes;

  • Frequent thirst, hunger and urination
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Crankiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling and numbness in hands and feet


Glucology Store was born in Sydney Australia. Our mission is to help improve the lives of people living with diabetes by providing the best possible support products and information. 
Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.