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May 21, 2018
Five Things to Know About Workouts and Diabetes

Exercise is a must for people with diabetes. It's associated with lots of benefits: glucose control, insulin resistance, improved hemoglobin A1C, and a lower risk of heart disease. It’s also cheap and easy to do. Read on to find out how different types of exercise may help people with diabetes.

Aerobic Training 

Activities that get your heart pumping and your lungs working harder than they normally would are considered aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. Think: walking, running, swimming, biking, and dancing. 
 
Doing a physical activity at a moderate intensity increases cardiac output, improves extraction of glucose from the blood to the muscles, and decreases insulin response — all of which lower heart disease risk. Research has found that cardiovascular exercise can lower cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and stroke risk.
 

Strength Training 

Lifting some weight will help you control your blood sugar. It turns out that muscle health can determine how easily your body processes insulin. The less healthy your muscles are, the more insulin resistant you may be. Exercise makes your muscles not just stronger, but also healthier. 
 

Combining Strength and Cardio Exercise 

Doing a mix of cardiovascular exercise and strength training seems to be the most beneficial. By doing the two together, you’re getting the cardiovascular benefits needed to prevent heart disease complications and increasing the amount of healthy muscle in your body. In addition, your waist circumference may decrease, which helps control insulin sensitivity and decrease the risk of heart disease.
 

Interval Training 

If you have been exercising for a while, you may want to add a workout that includes short bursts of high-intensity exercise (like sprints, burpees, or jumping jacks) to your routine.
 
These bursts have been found to improve cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight loss. In addition, interval training improves heart structure and function. 
 
However, exercising this way may not be right for everyone, so it should only be done under the counsel of your doctor. 
 

Occupational Activity 

Living an active lifestyle — one where you walk everywhere or have a job that keeps you moving — isn’t enough to get the benefits of physical activity. You need 30 to 60 minutes a day of additional moderate-intensity exercise. And it doesn’t have to be all at once; it can be as little as 10 minutes at a time.
 
Most important, it doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do — cardio, weights, or a combination. Just getting some form of physical activity daily will have a positive impact.