Do I have to exercise?A better question would be, "Isn't it terrific that such an enjoyable activity as exercise is a basic part of diabetes therapy?" The answer to both questions is yes.
Although exercise is often a neglected area in diabetes care, getting the right amount of exercise is just as important as following a good eating plan if not more important. Weve heard it said that if you had to make a choice between eating junk food and exercising or eating a perfectly healthy diet and being immobile, you'd be healthier eating the junk food and exercising. Of course, a diabetic doesn't have to make that choice in fact, can't make it. You need both exercise and good food for optimum health and blood sugar control.
Exercise is almost a magic formula for diabetics. If you're too thin usually the lean insulin-dependent types it will help you gain needed pounds by causing you to utilize your food better. Since it acts like an "invisible insulin," it helps get glucose into the cells, so less of it is wasted by being spilled into the urine.
If you're overweight, exercise will help you lose weight and keep it off. Contrary to the myth, exercise does not increase your appetite. In fact, it suppresses it by regulating your appestat, the brain center that controls the appetite, and redirecting the blood flow away from the digestive tract. As a result, you'll be able to eat more because of the calories you burn, and yet you'll feel like eating less. This combination will deliver you from that complaint of so many diabetics: "I'm always hungry."
Besides helping overweight, non-insulin-dependent diabetics lose weight, exercise is now believed to lower your blood sugar by actually increasing the number of insulin receptors those cell "locks" that the key of insulin is inserted into. Exercise helps all diabetics improve circulation and lower blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) and therefore helps ward off the heart and blood vessel problems to which diabetics are subject.