Controlling Blood Sugar Using Physical Activity

Jack Barton | 2014-07-13 05:26:34

Diabetes is a condition relating to the impaired ability to regulate blood glucose levels.

Insulin is a hormone responsible for the shuttling of blood glucose into bodily cells. Years of poor dietary habits combined with environmental and genetic factors can lead to chronically elevated blood glucose levels, subsequent excessive insulin production and therefore damage to the insulin producing gland, the pancreas, and the insulin receptors in cells. This condition is referred to as type 2 diabetes, as it is not hereditary.

Type 2 diabetes is increasing in prevalence year on year largely due to a population increasing in obesity and frequently engaging in poor lifestyle behaviours. Many individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes rely predominantly on medication to manage blood glucose levels and in some cases injection of insulin is required.
The ability to control blood sugar in diabetes is crucial for health and wellbeing. Having blood sugar outside of normal range can lead to short term effects including dizziness, nausea and loss of consciousness whereas longer term effects can lead to kidney damage and nerve damage.

Therefore the ability to improve control of blood sugar over an extended period of time is of great interest to those diagnosed with the condition. Currently literature assessing methods to control blood glucose levels has identified a simple lifestyle change to improve the management of daily blood glucose…… activity. Both structured and as part of daily routine have demonstrated greater blood glucose stability in those diagnosed with the condition. Although structured activity appears to have a more significant effect breaking up inactive periods throughout the day also demonstrates benefit.

Individuals diagnosed with diabetes seem to greatly benefit from daily activity when attempting to control their blood sugar however it’s always advised for individuals to be aware of their blood sugar avoiding post activity hypoglycaemia. As always it’s important to consult with your doctor before making any lifestyle changes.

Yet another reason to engage in regular physical activity…

Jack Barton (Researcher, Rescon Ltd)

van Dijk, J. W., Venema, M., van Mechelen, W., Stehouwer, C. D., Hartgens, F., et al. (2013). Effect of moderate-intensity exercise versus activities of daily living on 24-hour blood glucose homeostasis in male patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 36(11), 3448-3453.