Hot on the heels of my Transformation Challenge (and the heatwave that’s sweltering the San Francisco Bay Area for the last week), I thought I’d touch upon the relationship between exercise and prediabetes. Some of my Transformation Challenge participants experienced dramatic improvements to their overall health like reducing body fat (a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes).
So, what if you have above average glucose levels? Exercise is one powerful tool to control your blood sugar!
What is Prediabetes?
According to the American Diabetes Association, prediabetes is defined as “blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.” People with high glucose levels are at higher risk of developing type 2 but don’t necessarily have symptoms like unusual thirst or frequent urination.
You’re at risk if you are overweight and 45 (and older), have a family history, or experienced gestational diabetes. To learn more of the risk factors and a more complete list of symptoms, the ADA has a great information that answers frequently asked questions about prediabetes.
Exercise and Prediabetes: Making Positive Changes
Exercise can help you improve your blood sugar levels as well as boost your overall fitness. If you’ve been diagnosis with prediabetes, consult your physician before starting a new exercise program. You want to your doctor’s opinion on the type of activities that best benefit your unique health situation.
Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% when you:
- Lose 7% of your body weight
- Exercise moderately 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week
Exercise can lower blood glucose levels because insulin sensitivity is increased. Your body is better able to use available insulin — a hormone produced by your pancreas. You more efficiently use the sugar stored in your muscles.
That’s why regular exercise — and developing an exercise program you can stick with — is so important to improving your overall health. Eating a sensible and healthy diet, one that provides optimal fuel for exercise, is a wonderful combination.
Know Your Glucose Levels
If you don’t know your fasting glucose levels, I strongly encourage you to get tested and talk with your doctor. Exercise and prediabetes go hand-in-hand to avoid long-term health problems like nerve damage, extreme fatigue, and chronic infections.
As my boot campers know I’m all about setting exercise goals and creating a realistic plan to achieve them. What are you ready to do TODAY to improve your health? Look for my next installment on how to stop prediabetes with specific ideas on diet and exercise.
Committed to your Success,
Insulin Syringes Image Credit: : http://www.flickr.com/photos/feathy123/3949274968/