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How Does Treadmill Exercise Help to Manage Diabetes

For people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it is essential to exercise. In type 1 diabetes no insulin is produced by the body, while in type 2 diabetes not enough insulin is produced by the body or the generated amount is not used efficiently. Hence it is said that diet, exercise and medicine are the three most crucial things for a diabetic patient. These three things help in maintaining weight and blood glucose level.

Benefits of Treadmill Exercise

  1. Exercising reduces stress and promotes relaxation.
  2. Aids blood circulation and prevents the risk of getting heart disease.
  3. Improves the way body uses insulin.
  4. Burns excess body fat and helps in maintaining weight which further has a positive impact on insulin sensitivity.
  5. Increases energy levels.
  6. Improves muscle strength.
  7. Increases bone density and strength.
  8. Lowers high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Both doctors and physicians recommend people with diabetes to have an exercise regimen either outdoors or indoors. But many people do not feel like exercising outdoors. They feel lethargic or do not have time. To combat this, it is vital that they use fitness equipment like treadmills, running machine or elliptical for exercising indoors.

How Does Treadmill Exercise Help to Manage Diabetes?

  1. Treadmills encourage people to exercise regularly, which helps in controlling insulin levels.
  2. The Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry published that regular exercise is a boon and it decreases blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
  3. Diet and exercise in combination can control diabetes symptoms in patients to a great extent and prevent them from becoming insulin dependent.
  4. Before making an 25 minutes exercise routine patients should consult their doctors as strenuous can raise blood sugar levels. The body recognizes intense workouts as stress and releases stress hormones, that spike the blood glucose levels.
  5. When one exercises for less than 20 minutes, it causes the liver to release stored glucose to fuel the body, but for muscles to take in that glucose and lower overall blood glucose levels it is important to exercise for more than 20 minutes.
  6. With the help of a treadmill blood, glucose levels can be controlled and lowered to the extent that the medications can be adjusted down or eliminated.
  7. With regular exercise, hormones can be regulated, and proper sleep can be induced. Regular sleep cycles play a pivotal role in stabilizing the blood sugar levels.

How to Exercise on a Treadmill?

  1. Doctors prescribe that you should start with a 10% maximum grade, and gradually increase it to 15% grade.
  2. For aged people cushioning is crucial, as they have joint or orthopedic problems.
  3. Check with the doctor about the footwear you need to wear while exercising on the treadmill or running machine. Diabetic foot neuropathy and irregular blood circulation could bring in the risk of blisters and infections. Thus, people with diabetes should wear well-fitting shoes that help them in keeping their feet dry and protected while exercising.
  4. Select a treadmill brand that has inbuilt speakers so that you could beat the treadmill boredom and stay motivated throughout the session.
  5. Place the treadmill in front of a mirror so that you could keep a check on your posture and maintain a correct one.
  6. Keep your treadmill clean and running smoothly.
  7. For first few days walk 20 minutes, 35 the next, etc. Exercising for as less as 15 minutes daily can bring a change in your blood sugar levels.
  8. Most importantly remember that if you take insulin, post-injection wait an hour and then take up any exercise. Opt for Hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) awareness training and understand how are the blood glucose levels affected.
  9. Apart from treadmills, people with diabetes could also opt for strength training 2-3 days in a week. For which they would need a light set of dumbbells or resistance bands. Strength training would help in building and maintain lean muscle mass.

Things to Consider

What should one eat after a workout?

  1. A light post-workout snack would be sufficient. Go for diabetes-friendly food choices, and skip the protein powder unless it is recommended by your doctor.
  2. If you are working out for months together, you will crave to eat something within 30 minutes of exercise.
  3. Eat a small balanced meet. Try and combine protein, some complex carbs and some simple carbohydrates, as they fuel the body quickly.
  4. Do not consume anything significant which might result in skipping the main meal.

When should one exercise?

  1. Though morning exercise can optimize body’s glucose response in the entire the day, not everyone’s blood glucose is the same.
  2. You need to check blood glucose values are first thing in the morning and notice when it spikes.
  3. You should not run when the glucose levels are low, as that might draw you into some significant health challenges.
  4. Type 1 diabetics should be extra cautious when it comes to building an exercise routine as they have the risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia.
  5. In diabetes, you cannot afford ultimately and irrelevant exercise routine.

When should one not exercise?

  • Do not exercise if you have unusual pain or unusual shortness of breath.
  • Make it a habit to check your blood glucose levels before, during and after exercise initially to record how the body responds.
  • If the blood glucose levels shoot up then lower the intensity of your workout and gradually increase it.
  • Discuss things with your doctor first and only then craft an exercise routine for self.

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