Diabetes is a very serious chronic disease that can cause debilitating health problems if not treated effectively. People with diabetes are at significantly higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, eye complications and blindness, foot problems, nerve damage, foot problems, and even dental problems like gingivitis. Medicines can help keep your blood sugar at healthier levels, but all medicines have their own side effects and risks. Regular exercise such as that you do on an elliptical trainer can help you control your diabetes while minimizing your use of medications.
Exercise can be very effective in controlling diabetes. Exercise helps control type 2 diabetes in the following ways.
- Improves your body’s use of insulin
- Increases the density and strength of the bones
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Lowers LDL cholesterol
- Improves blood circulation
- Promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety.
- Increase energy
- Burns excess fat, which helps maintain a healthy body weight.
- Increases muscle strength
So how does exercise help lower blood sugar levels? Normally, insulin is released from the pancreas when the amount of sugar in the blood rises, such as after eating. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscles to absorb excess glucose. This results in a drop in blood sugar level. While you exercise, your body needs extra energy for fuel. Continuous moderate exercise causes the muscles to absorb glucose almost 20 times faster than normal.
What is the best type of exercise to control diabetes? Research shows that strength training has a profound impact on helping people manage their diabetes. In a recent study of Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of strength training produced dramatic improvements in sugar control that are comparable to taking diabetes medications. Aerobic exercise has also been shown to be effective in controlling diabetes.
A workout on an elliptical trainer can provide a vigorous aerobic workout while strengthening major muscle groups. By moving the pedals, the thighs, glutes, hamstrings, and shin muscles are exercised. Most elliptical trainers have movable arms that will also work the muscles of the upper body, including the muscles of the chest, arms, and back. By varying the amount of resistance, you can emphasize muscle strengthening or aerobic exercise.
Diabetes is an all-too-common chronic disease that can cause serious health problems. An exercise program on a new or used elliptical can be an effective way to control this condition.