The Effect of Exercise on Diabetes
If youre a diabetic and you bicycle after breakfast, you might be able to cut down on your insulin intake. The same holds true for similarly strenuous exercises such as running, swimming, spinning, and tennis.
According to the American Diabetes Association there are 23.6 million people in the United States, or 7.8% of the population, who have diabetes and cannot metabolize the sugar and starch in food because their bodies are unable to manufacture enough insulin. When insulin is insufficient, or totally lacking, sugar accumulates in the blood. Many diabetics need to have at least daily injections or use a pump to receive artificial insulin.
However, according to several studies, diabetics who exercise regularly, especially right after meals, have lower insulin requirements than those who dont. In one study diabetics who bicycled after breakfast required significantly less amounts of insulin. The doctors who conducted the study suggest that the reason cycling works is because exercise alters muscle cells so that sugar levels in the blood decrease, and thus less insulin is needed.
Based on their research, the doctors believe that post-meal exercise is a valuable adjunct to the treatment of diabetes.
Regular exercise is also important for diabetics because it helps prevent obesity a common side effect of diabetes and maintains muscle tone.
Because insulin dosages vary among patients, it is crucial for diabetics to consult their doctor before beginning any strenuous exercise routine.
About the Author: Robin Westen writes for national magazines.
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