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The image is divided by a retro lightning bolt - the left side contains two feet with legwarmers exercising, the right side contains a glucose monitor.

Reasons to Exercise

Are you stuck in an exercise rut and in need of motivation? It can be hard to get back on the exercise bandwagon when it has been a while since your last workout. Health setbacks, the busyness of everyday life, and lack of interest can all stand in the way of keeping up with regular exercise.

Benefits of exercise for type 2 diabetes management

But there are studies that come out all the time touting yet another benefit of exercise. Let’s look at some reasons and see if they can help motivate you!

Too much sitting can negatively affect health

A recent study published in The Journal of the American Heart Association found that post-menopausal women who spent too much time sitting increased their risk of diabetes and heart disease. The women with an average age of 63, were tracked for 14 days with an accelerometer on their hip, and then a blood test was performed to measure blood sugar and insulin resistance. Hispanic and non-Hispanic women were tested and found to sit for approximately 8.5-9 hours per day. “Each additional hour of sitting time per day was linked with a more than 6 percent higher fasting insulin resistance, while each additional 15 minutes in the average sitting period was associated with a greater than 7 percent higher fasting insulin and an almost 9 percent increase in insulin resistance.”1 The researchers were surprised to see that engaging in even small activities such as cleaning and grocery shopping helped with glucose control. Imagine what keeping an active lifestyle can do for you.

Exercise may reduce overeating

Another study done at Drexel University found that regular physical activity helped people adhere to their diet better. A calorie-restricted diet was used in this study, which is not always the best option for everyone. The research found that engaging in exercise for an hour cut odds of overeating in the following hours in half, from 12% to 5%. Longer exercise resulted in further decreases in the likelihood of overeating.2 The study also found that light activity was even more likely to decrease the risk of overeating than heavy activity. A good takeaway here is that even light exercise can have benefits on your health, so if you are not feeling up for a big workout, even a short walk around the block can be a positive step for your health.

The American Diabetes Association recommends it

The American Diabetes Association says that along with a healthy diet and medications prescribed by your physician, physical activity is also very important in the treatment of diabetes. “Because when you’re active, your cells become more sensitive to insulin so it works more effectively. And you just feel better. And look better. So, however, you want to do it—taking regular walks around the block, going for a run, or signing up for a marathon—getting started is the most important part.” 3

So what about you? Are any of these reasons motivation enough to start a new regimen today? Good luck!

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