Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar (glucose) levels to become too high. Left untreated, the condition can lead to eye problems, foot problems, kidney problems, and heart attack and stroke. Alongside being overweight, not being physically active can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. So exercising regularly is key to keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
The NHS states you should aim to do 2.5 hours of activity a week.
But what are the best blood sugar-lowering exercises to do?
There are many exercises that will benefit people with diabetes, says the Cleveland Clinic, but here are three it recommends:
As well as stretching and relaxing your muscles, swimming doesn’t put pressure on joints, which can be good for people with diabetes.
It adds: “For those with diabetes or at risk for developing diabetes, studies show it improves cholesterol levels, burns calories and lowers stress levels.
“To get the most benefit from swimming, we recommend that you swim at least three times a week for at least ten minutes and gradually increase the length of the workout.
“Make sure to have a snack and monitor blood sugars. Lastly, let the lifeguard know that you have diabetes before you get in the pool.”
Yoga incorporates fluid movements that build flexibility, strength and balance.
The clinic goes on to explain: “It is helpful for people with a variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes. It lowers stress and improves nerve function, which leads to an increased state of mental health and wellness.
“According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), yoga may improve blood glucose levels due to improved muscle mass.”
The Chinese form of exercise uses slow, smooth body movements to relax the mind and body.
The clinic explains: “In 2009, researchers at the University of Florida studied 62 Korean women assigned to one of two groups – a control group and an exercise group that began a regular practice of Tai Chi.
“Those who completed the Tai Chi sessions showed significant improvement in blood sugar control.
“They also reported increased vitality, energy and mental health.”
Making changes to your diet can also help in controlling and preventing type 2 diabetes. Eating a certain food could help lower your blood sugar levels.