Diabetes, Depression & Exercise
Exercise does a body good – seriously.
There are so many reasons to add a daily routine of activity to your life. In a recent article published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers did a literature review to evaluate a correlation between stopping exercise and increase in depression. They found that women had more depressive symptoms than men and that symptoms increased the longer exercise had stopped.
When living with diabetes, the routine of activity can really make a difference on blood glucose management. This happens because muscle cells get “activated” in exercise, we maintain weight easier and we have less “fat” on our body. When we exercise on a regular basis, it is a rolling effect – essentially daily or at least every other day exercise keeps our cells more responsive to insulin. In the long run this means we should need less insulin and the amount we do use gets working faster and more consistently.
We’ve all had days or weeks when things get busy and exercise is something that falls off the plan. This is unfortunate, because with diabetes things can get out of control pretty quickly when you are out of your normal routine. These lapses in exercise can wreak havoc on BG as well as on mental health. Many people with diabetes also deal with depression too. Since exercise is a major player in stability of BG and can help with stress reduction, it makes sense to try to keep this in your routine, even if it means you have to take 15 min to park farther away or walk on a lunch break or make an “exercise appointment” on your calendar to save the time like a doctor appointment. Try to think of exercise like a medication that is free and has no bad side effects. When you consider all the positive reasons for regular exercise it makes it easier to make it part of your daily routine.
If you find it hard to make a routine OR have issues with keeping your BG well controlled with exercise, please give us a call to set up a visit. Integrated Diabetes Services clinicians can help guide you in adjustments to get you going and keep you moving for optimal BG management and stress reduction.
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