New Delhi: Keeping physically active is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. But for individuals who either already have or are at risk of acquiring diabetes, regular physical activity is particularly crucial as it can have a significant impact on their condition and overall health. Exercise such as walking has been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity, lower your blood sugar and control body weight.
High blood sugar or hyperglycemia is a common problem that can affect people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Left untreated, frequent high blood sugar can be dangerous causing damage to your blood vessels, nerves and organs. The classic signs and symptoms of high blood sugar are increased thirst, frequent peeing, fatigue, headaches, feeling uncomfortable and irritable, weight loss, etc.
If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar under control is an important part of your treatment plan. But many people do not know what they can do to help to bring down high blood sugar levels. Regular exercise, along with a healthy diet plan and medications, can help put you back in control of your life. Physical activity can help avoid long-term complications, including heart disease, in people with type 2 diabetes.
Walking – The best exercise to bring down high blood sugar levels
According to the Diabetes.co.uk, walking is a great form of exercise to lower blood sugar levels naturally. The minimum recommended level of physical activity for an adult is 30 minutes at least 5 days a week – adding any extra activity to your daily routine is a plus. The British Heart Foundation recommends that we should take 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) per day to promote a healthy heart. In fact, even a little extra activity can do wonders for your body, ranging from helping with weight loss to reducing your risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
However, people with existing heart problems are advised to avoid strenuous exercises (such as lifting weights) and strenuous aerobic exercise like running as they can produce a stress response, which causes the body to raise blood sugar levels. Yet, this response may vary from person to person. It’s advisable to talk to your doctor or your healthcare team who can give advice as to which activities are safe for you.
Also, check out the following video to learn how to treat hyperglycemia.
Video credit: Diabetes.co.uk/YouTube
Things to keep in mind
If you’re taking medications that may lower blood glucose, the Diabetes.co.uk notes that you should check your blood sugar levels before you try to bring it down. Checking your blood sugar levels is particularly important if you’re taking insulin.
In most cases, people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood sugar levels under control by following a healthy meal plan and exercise programme along with medication. You must call your doctor if your blood sugar levels are running higher than your treatment goals.