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Exercise and Diabetes

Why moving your body benefits more than just your bloods.

The benefits are literally endless. The impact on your overall health and ability to stave off serious health conditions later in life are clear and documented.

So why isn’t everyone exercising as part of their daily life? Why isn’t every gym full and every park packed with yoga instructors and tai chi enthusiasts.

If you were told today that you would live an extra 5 years and decrease your chance of stroke, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fatty liver disease etc - would you get up and make exercise part of your routine?

This short article is not geared toward the gym junkie or the hiker who regularly clambers up shear rock faces and takes selfies with birds of prey. No. This is for the person who thinks that they can get away with never moving their body to such an intensity that they’re left out of breath.

Now, let’s throw diabetes into the mix and assess exercise on its merits for a person who has a flawed, slightly angry essential organ.

The list of serious health conditions previously mentioned and a host of others are all increased when we have diabetes. Why? Because high and erratic blood sugars damage our cells and this results in a greater risk of what we like to call ‘complications’. It’s a rather innocuous word to describe some life altering illnesses don’t you think?

Why are we sugar coating it? Why are we wrapping up diabetics in cotton wool and letting them fend for themselves on shoddy medical information and plain wrong dietary guidance?

It’s time to become better informed on why a diabetic has more of a reason to exercise than most, and why it will help you become a happier, healthier person.


No, you don’t have to get up at 5am and run in the snow. You don’t have to lift weights so heavy that your limbs detach, and you certainly don’t have to have your face planted in cold mud whilst a scary man in carci clothes shouts at you till his nose bleeds.

We’re talking about movement. Going outside for a walk. Jumping onto a treadmill and jogging for 10 mins at a slow pace. Watching a TV show for 20 minutes whilst sat on a bike at the gym.

Of course, if you get a taste and then jump straight onto ‘’, that’s fine too. Whatever floats your boat. But sitting on your bum and not moving at all will result in your boat sinking.

Why is this being written at all, when we already know the benefits of exercise?

Because as mentioned above, diabetics are more susceptible to serious health conditions from high blood sugars. Exercise will help lower those sugars and fight the progress of complications.

Building muscle

There are no golden rules to build muscle for a diabetic specifically, so don’t worry that you’ll do any damage.

Having some muscle is very important as we age (not being on the cover of bodybuilding magazine) - just start by pushing and pulling some heavy things so your body doesn’t start to decompose before you’re even in the box.

Your muscles feed off sugar for energy, so there’s less in your blood making them go high. Your insulin requirements will decrease. Your chances of having a hypo and hyper will decrease.

Building some muscle is also very important for women as they reach and surpass menopause. Bone density decreases and the risk of osteoarthritis increases.

Being and feeling strong within yourself has enormous benefits for your overall health but also your mental health. Having the capacity to carry children, shopping or furniture may sound trivial, but it will impact your confidence greatly, and make your life easier when you know you don’t need assistance.

Cardiovascular training

Once again, doing an ironman competition or running across Alaska isn’t the point here.

Getting out and about - walking the dog (buy one If you need to). Going to the beach and saying to yourself ‘I’m going to walk for 20mins in one direction and then turn around’.

Anything that makes your body go ”whoa! I need to supply myself with some energy. It appears we’re doing more than just walking to the bathroom today”.

Just like we mentioned, your blood sugars will drop (not so much you’ll need a caravan full of sweets) - your insulin requirements will decrease. Your chances of a hypo and hyper will decrease. Stored fat in and on your body will decrease.

Your chances of developing life altering complications will decrease.

Your chances of living longer and healthier will increase.

If you combine regular exercise whilst removing refined, processed and high carb foods from your diet, you are greatly increasing your chances of living the life-span of a non-diabetic. But not making any changes, means you’re leaving it all up to chance, and giving the control back to your disease.

Some more food for thought:

- Exercise helps you sleep better - better sleep = better blood sugars.

- Exercise can improve your social life - meeting more sexy people = better chances of interactions with sexy people.

- Exercise releases endorphins - happy hormones = general spirit is lifted whilst you interact with sexy people.

- Exercise decreases stress - release of happy hormones = less stress in your life whilst you deal with the rest life has to throw at you.

The list can go on and on, but I’m sure you’re about ready to pour yourself a glass of red and watch a thriller.

Remember though; tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life and exercise is part of it.


Believe the hypo

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