Benefits of Exercise? Tips for Getting Started?

Diabetic Connect Staff
By Diabetic Connect StaffA Latest Reply 2013-06-08 10:47:16 -0500
Started 2012-02-23 17:37:36 -0600

What benefits do you see from exercise? And what tips or tricks would you have for getting motivated to be active?

This article talks about how exercise is an important factor in diabetes prevention and management: But we'd love to hear about your personal experiences.

41 replies

tabby9146 2013-06-08 10:47:16 -0500 Report

benefits? they are numerous!! the energy, maybe not upon first starting an exercise program for some, but it will come! the feel good endorphins, thebetter BS control. lifts my mood, takes away stress, I could go on, but I am an exercise enthusiast. I exercised before my son was born 22 years ago, even while pregnant, working and taking care of him, I just did not have the time ,and slowly I began to quit and weight gain began when I was gtting close to 30. Before D diagnosis, I rediscovered it, I hated my weight and I knew it I did not start it again, I would have health problems, little did I know at the time I was diabetic, but I started walking, then fast walking every day for a half hour (that included a warm up and cool down time) and it was not long before I was hooked again

jim healthy
jim healthy 2012-03-12 15:01:44 -0500 Report

"Diet" always gets the emphasis when it comes to managing and reversing Type 2, but exercise can deliver a HUGE benefit, too. Here's why…
Your body's cells carry an enzyme on the surface of their membrane called lipoprotein enzyme (LPL). On fat cells, its job is to pull fat from the bloodstream for storage (making the cell fatter). On muscle cells, it pulls fat in so it can be burned as fuel. While you’re exercising, LPL activity DECREASES on fat cells and INCREASES on muscle cells. Since insulin regulates LPL activity on fat cells, the more insulin there is in your bloodstream, the more fat gets stored in our cells. (Insulin also suppresses LPL activity on muscle cells, so exercising with high insulin levels won’t do much good.)
This is how excess insulin in the bloodstream makes us fat – either our body’s own, or supplemental from a medication. Consuming sugar and refined carbs triggers insulin's release, so exercise won't help very much, unless it is combined with a low-carb diet. But when you do both, cells become less insulin resistant (more sensitized to the hormone) … your pancreas gets to rest and rejuvenate itself … and the stored fat in your fat cells is released and metabolized as fuel. The result is: Type 2 begins to reverse and you lose weight as a bonus.
Exercise also has the power to change your DNA. A new study has discovered that vigorous exercise turns on the genes responsible for boosting energy production in the "energy factories" (called mitochondria) of every cell in your body. See: This is a very exciting development. We have long known that what we eat (good or bad) either turns on or turns off certain genes. Now we know that exercise can have a similar effect.
But to get real benefit, you must up your intensity so that you increase your heart rate and calorie-burn. Walking is fine IF you are doing interval training (which is fast-walking for say, 2 minutes – and then slow-walking for 60 seconds to recover. This is the only way you’re going to get cardio- and diabetes-reversing benefits from exercise. Once you increase your fitness, through walking (“spinning” on a stationary bike is also good), you’ll be ready for some resistance-training or weight-lifting. This is where the real insulin-sensitizing benefits for your cells comes in. Good luck! Jim H.

steve c
steve c 2012-03-12 13:17:21 -0500 Report

I have had Type 2 diabetes for over 20 years. I started walking about 3 miles daily all over town about 2 1/2 years ago. This walking over concrete and asphalt caused me to have recurring foot problems. A new Planet Fitness opened in town just over one year ago and I joined. Daily there I now briskly walk 4 miles on the treadmill (with steep inclines) and also pedal 5 miles on the cycle machine. I spend about 45 minutes daily on various resistance machines and every other day I do 1000 ab sit ups. I have lost approx 80 pounds and stopped one of 2 insulins and am ready to come off the other one. My vitals are now great and I have lost 9 inches around my waist. My only problem now is having to buy new clothes occasionally!

MewElla 2012-03-12 13:18:34 -0500 Report

Major congrats to you for losing 80 lbs and your exercise program. You are doing an awesome job!

MainEvent 2012-03-12 08:36:38 -0500 Report

Right now I walk. Having a dog is helpful because when u don't want to go the dog looks at you with those sad eyes and you just give in (smile). My health insurance includes a free membership to the YMCA or some other gym's. I'm gonna take advantage of it. I have to go slow because of my COPD but the exercise always helps my blood sugare. I am Type 11.

Big Joe 74
Big Joe 74 2012-03-04 21:17:22 -0600 Report

I hired a personal trainer (pt) at the gym. It's expensive but keeps me at it since it tugs on my wallet. Get invested and it will keep u at it. The way I see it is I can cope with eating right and exercising or deal with the multitude of possible health problems should I stray away. Keep focused grasshopper. Lol

Denise56 2012-03-03 08:59:38 -0600 Report

I enjoy Zumba, it is really helping me mentally and phyiscally.

jigsaw 2012-02-27 19:02:24 -0600 Report

Exercise helps control my bg, cholesterol, weight, BP and overall health. It alleviates stress and helps me to feel better all around. That's enough motivation for me. I do cardio almost every day. I use to do weight training, but my wife sold my weights and weight training machine. Then, she put a flat sreen tv and couch in the room. Actually, I'm guilty, I bought her the couch and the tv!

Young1s 2012-02-27 18:42:43 -0600 Report

The benefits for me would be to lose weight, which would aid in lowering my bad cholesterol (LDL) level. Another will be, as stated at the end of the article, to fit better in my clothing. Truth is I could stand to lose some belly fat.

I don't necessarily have any tricks or tips, save the convincing myself that I'll feel better for doing it. Some days it takes some doing to make myself take a walk or put in an aerobics DVD. But once I get started, I get into it and soon I'm having fun with my walking music or the routine. I'm always energized afterwards and feel like I could do more, but I know not to overdo it.

olebpirate 2012-02-27 19:06:18 -0600 Report

I have the opposite problem I need to excercise to put on weight. The ciliac's disease has me down about 30lbs in muscle wieght. Excercise is also a stress reliever. Less going on in the head the better the blood sugar stays controled.

Caroltoo 2012-02-27 20:08:46 -0600 Report

True on all counts. Do you use whey protein powder to help gain weight?

olebpirate 2012-02-27 22:42:49 -0600 Report

I do if I can afford it(low income) and I need to watch what I take because of my ciliac's (glutin allergy) most of the whey protien mixes and protien shakes have glutin products in as fillers.

Caroltoo 2012-03-03 19:42:02 -0600 Report

I'm gluten intolerant, though I don't know if it's full blown Celiac…effects are the same, so I just did the exclusions from the diet. My whey powder doesn't indicate any fillers and I do fine with it. It is expensive, so I use it sparingly.

olebpirate 2012-02-27 22:44:18 -0600 Report

what ever you do, DO NOT use Creatine. The last time I used that as a teen it threw me into DKA in no time. I had so much ketones in my blood stream the blood would not hold oxygen.

Caroltoo 2012-03-03 19:43:09 -0600 Report

Scary outcome! Why were you using it? My hubby's doc is checking his creatine level to see if his kidneys are responding ok to his newest meds. I've always though of it as a metabolic byproduct.

olebpirate 2012-03-03 20:49:37 -0600 Report

Creatine is supposed to speed up your digestion rate so you get what you need vitmin wise faster. at least from what I was told. I was a stupid teeneager at the time.

Caroltoo 2012-03-03 20:54:01 -0600 Report

Interesting … well, it might be … they wouldn't be able to sell it if it was just what I referred to — a metabolic byproduct. Sounds like it may be used in the weightlifting/bodybuilding arena?

olebpirate 2012-03-03 22:18:05 -0600 Report

That's what we were using it for. I was always a scrawny whimp of a kid and my budy was training me to box. Being 95 lbs soaking wet I needed to build muscle so I didn't get rolled by every punch. Now again I find myself with having to rebuild muscle I once had but with a more natural method. Now I don't swing fists I wear about 25-30 lbs of armour and swing medieval weapons against guys 2-3 times my size.

Caroltoo 2012-03-04 00:14:48 -0600 Report

And that weaponry can be really heavy. My son was active 20 years ago in one of the groups and build his own suit of chain mail. It was only shoulder to thigh, but so heavy I could hardly lift it. Good luck with finding a whey you can use. You might ask Kevin (Kirla) about what he would recommend. He's the one on here who uses Whey the most. Nick also knows quite a lot about it's used in muscle building, but I don't know how familiar he is with the issues of celiac disease.

olebpirate 2012-03-04 01:47:20 -0600 Report

Thank you I will look them up right now I'm just dricking protien shakes. They have nothing in that I can't have. When I'm not flaring up from the ciliac's I lift every other day but don't have decent equipment so I do what I can.

jigsaw 2012-03-03 21:14:31 -0600 Report

You are correct. It is not the same as Creatinine that is an indicator of kidney disease or kidney failure. The one olepirate is referring to is sold in health food stores for body builders. Funny, I remember asking the same question years ago. It has a similar but different spelling also. The supplement is spelled creatine.

Caroltoo 2012-03-03 21:18:38 -0600 Report

Yes to the spelling: an extra "ni" in the word. The one you two are talking about is actually an amino acid, I believe, now that I've thought a little more about it.

YogaGal 2012-02-27 07:28:33 -0600 Report

I got back into exercise over ten years ago by going to a gentle yoga class. I quickly became a yoga addict! That inspired me to take a cardio cross training class twice a week at the local community college (less than $5 a class). Last year, I started running (used the Couch to 5k program — love it!). My diabetes is not what you would call under great control, but I can't imagine what it would be like if I didn't exercise. I exercise to maintain my weight, get those endorphins going (uplifts my mood) and to generally feel good. After you start, you begin to crave the feeling.

tabby9146 2013-06-08 10:43:05 -0500 Report

yes!! I love it when I see that someone else enjoys it as much as I do! I can not imagine life without exercise!! some days I do more than others, some days I do only two or three different types of yoga, others I do aerobics some kind of routine, later in the day, and yoga in the mornings. I love to power walk outside or on the treadmill, I love Wii Fit Plus, and Just Dance, and my child's trampolene. great fun! I LOVE those feel good endorphins! I began exercising again (after not doing it hardly at all for 12-14 yrs priod) rediscovered it many months 'before' diabetes diagnosis. it was hard at first, but it is so worth it

Lizardfan 2012-02-25 17:29:12 -0600 Report

Exercise makes me feel good! I am so energized when I work out regularly. I have a home gym, a treadmill, weight tower, elliptical, and a group of fitness DVD's. My favorites are Leslie Sansone walking workouts. I do have a chronic hip bursitis issue that sometimes prevents me from exercising, otherwise I try to do five or six days a week.

I have found that keeping a log of what I have done encourages me to keep going. Nothing makes me feel better than knowing at a glance that last week I walked 22miles! As for getting started I plan on my time one hour after dinner. I also make it a priority if I can't exercise at that time to do it earlier in the day. It is my commitment to ME!

David_J 2012-02-25 09:58:10 -0600 Report

According to my doctor the rapid pace at which my type 2 diabetes and other related issues have come under control are directly attributed to exercise, a healthy diet and positive mental attitude. The primary motivations that keep me exercising are the benefits I receive and the resolve that this disease is not going to ravish my body. In fact, other benefits such as increased mental ability, steady weight loss, feeling of well being and so much more help me keep this motivation alive. I no longer cringe at the “e” word and set a goal of building the endurance to backpack in the beautiful wilderness regions of the Pacific Northwest by summer.

TsalagiLenape 2012-02-25 08:20:42 -0600 Report

When I was working out it felt good. But now I cant afford the gym. So why did I lose weight healthy and etc to become a diabetic? Because I had two strikes against me that I didnt know about! I dont walk slow. For instance I can walk 26 blocks in my town in 29 minutes without breaking a sweat or being breathless. Now what?

melissa1987 2012-02-24 22:30:19 -0600 Report

Wow I actually exercised tonight after supper for only about 10 mins on the treadmill n I can't believe how my sugar went down so much so now I am gonna do it everyday. Usually since my doctor lowed my insulin I get a lot of highs usually around 10 b4 I go to bed and tonight it was 6.2 :)

Caroltoo 2012-02-25 05:26:12 -0600 Report

Good choice! Treadmills can be literal life savers when the weather isn't good for outside exercise. Glad to hear you have access to one at home. Using it can help you sooo much and, you are right, it doesn't have to be for a long time. I find about 20 minutes gives me noticably good results that stay with me for several hours. Shorter times will drop the BG, but I can't always prolong the effects beyond an hour or so.

melissa1987 2012-02-26 22:16:27 -0600 Report

Ya I feel a lot better now and do it everyday n sometimes switch it up for a outside walk to take my nephew to school that's a 20 min walk I do everyday. I got him in the habit of it so I can't say no to him now or I'll feel really bad n then I usually walk down to get coffees for the family which is a 20 min walk too. I like going outside more lately … The treadmill can get pretty borring unless I had a tv and cable down there too lol I got a tv but there's no way my dad would put cable down there for me n music gets boring

melissa1987 2012-02-26 23:41:54 -0600 Report

2.4 tonight b4 I went to bed .. Bad but better then a 10 maybe I should slow down abit lol feels good tho to know that exercise really works

digitaldoorbell 2012-02-24 23:08:22 -0600 Report

That's great. It's interesting to see that even modest amounts of exercise are helpful. It also helps you believe that you have some control over your condition. Keep up the good work. I hope that you have inspired others.

All the best.

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