If you heard on the news that a pharmaceutical company had designed a medication that would help you to lose weight, improve your cholesterol and blood pressure, and help with emotional issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety, without the nasty side effects that many of today's medicines have, would you take it? If you're like most you would (I would too).
A pill like that does not exist, but there is something out there that does all of these things EXERCISE!
Yes, exercise does all of these things plus so much more for our bodies. A shortlist of the benefits that exercise does include:
· Helps lower and/or maintain your weight. When combined with a healthy diet, exercise is a proven way to lower how much you weigh. The math behind this is something that all of us can understand. In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories during the day than you take in from what you eat. The best way to do that is through a healthy diet and exercise.
· Helps reduce your blood pressure. High Blood pressure (also known as Hypertension) occurs when the pressure in your blood vessels is elevated. An elevated blood pressure reading means that your heart has to work extra hard to get the blood to all parts of the body. Exercise reduces this pressure and makes it easier for your heart to work.
· Helps improve your cholesterol. Cholesterol is a needed substance that your body uses, but we usually make enough on our own. Additional sources come from the food that we eat. There are several parts to cholesterol, some good (HDLs) and some bad (LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides). Exercise actually helps lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol, so in this case, exercise is beneficial for two reasons.
· Strengthens your bones. Exercise is needed both to help our bones grow and harden (when we are children), and remain that way as we age. Without exercise, our bones can become brittle, and are more susceptible to fractures.
· Helps reduce our chance of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are strongly linked, with about a third of those with cardiovascular disease also having diabetes. That is because diseases like being overweight, hypertension, and dyslipidemia all contribute to the risk of getting cardiovascular disease. A regular exercise program helps reduce the chances of all of these individually, as well as your chances of getting cardiovascular disease.
· Helps with your overall mental health, and your mood. There are a number of issues that those of us deal with everything from relationship issues to the cost of our additional healthcare to just the normal burnout from juggling all of it. Living with diabetes can be incredibly stressful and can and make you more susceptible to depression and anxiety. Exercise helps in all of these areas. Endorphins that are released while we exercise can help improve our mood, while we earn a sense of satisfaction knowing we are reaching our exercise-related goals and doing what we can to help improve our health.
Exercise is such an important behavior for us, that the American Medical Association and the American College of Sports Medicine have teamed up to promote the prescription of exercise in doctor’s offices all around the country. Their campaign, ‘Exercise is Medicine’ is based on the idea that exercise has so many benefits for our bodies that medical providers should be involved in its encouragement.
One of the most important factors, of course, is the effect exercise has on insulin. Exercise helps to improve the sensitivity of insulin to the glucose that your body needs. This means you require less insulin to fulfill your body’s needs. This can be a benefit whether you have Type 1 or Type 2. To learn more about what you need to consider for exercising be sure to follow the links for Exercising with Type 1 or exercising with Type 2