Diabetes is a disease in where an individuals body insufficiently uses sugar. On the most basic cellular level, sugar is an important nutrient for the cells to make energy. For those with diabetes, there is an imbalance in the insulin level present in the blood stream. Insulin is a hormone that the body uses to help pull the sugar into the cell, so that the cell can make energy. Whether someone has Type I or Type II diabetes, there’s too much sugar in the blood stream, which can have a number of effects on the body.
Type I diabetes is treated through insulin injections, or the use of an insulin pump, coupled with routine carbohydrate counting and blood sugar checks. For Type II diabetes, there are some medications that are involved, but most of the treatment is related to monitoring what the individual eats, and how many carbohydrates they intake. In the case of diabetes, it is very important to recognize that the drugs alone will not do the trick. Many people who take drugs, monitor their glucose levels, and still see their diabetes become affected.
What people do not understand, and are not told by the doctor is that exercise is the most effective treatment for diabetes. In particular, aerobic exercise is the most important. After eating a meal that is loaded with carbs, blood sugar spikes, and studies have shown that if the person walks on a treadmill for 20 minutes at a comfortable pace, their blood sugar levels would return too normal. Increasing aerobic activity will lead to a healthier heart and stronger body, which can ease the effects of diabetes on the body. In some cases, a sufficient amount of exercise has been shown to reverse diabetes (type II). Therefore, a shift towards a more active and preventative lifestyle can have a dramatic influence on the progression of a very deadly, easily treatable disease.