Blood glucose (Diabetes) and the Benefits of Exercise

What is Blood Glucose?

Blood glucose refers to the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose comes primarily from carbohydrates in the foods and drinks we consume, plus the stores that sit in the liver and muscle. Glucose is carried in the bloodstream to the cells in the body to provide energy for everyday functioning.

Why is Blood Glucose Important?

Glucose is a simple sugar that provides energy to our bodies when absorbed by the blood. When kept in the correct range, it prevents us from developing chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, or other complications including hypertension, atherosclerosis, hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia.

How is Blood Glucose regulated?

Blood glucose is regulated by two main hormones, insulin and glucagon. These two hormones work together to keep blood glucose levels in the normal range. When glucose is too low (Hypoglycaemia), glucagon is stimulated to raise the levels and stop feelings of dizziness and confusion. Normal fasting blood glucose levels should be between 4.4-7.8. If fasting blood glucose levels are above this range, it can indicate impaired glucose tolerance or Diabetes.

Blood Glucose and Diabetes

Blood Glucose has many associated conditions involved, predominantly, Diabetes mellitus. There are two types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1: A chronic lifelong auto-immune disease where the pancreas produces little to no insulin.
  • Type 2: A chronic condition where there body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or resists insulin usually associated with lifestyle factors.

How can an Exercise Physiologist help?

Exercise can be used to treat and manage the effect of diverse blood glucose levels, especially Diabetes and hyperglycaemia. At Pro Health Care, our Exercise Physiologists offer small group classes for Diabetic patients. We aim to ensure that appropriate attention is given to each patient in order to reach certain goals whilst understanding their limitations. Each patient is assessed and given an individualised program focused on diabetes management, reducing the likelihood of developing other chronic conditions and improvement of overall health and wellbeing.

Exercise can increase cardiovascular function, blood lipids (fats) and lipoproteins, and insulin sensitivity while decreasing blood pressure. After exercise, blood glucose levels can drop significantly, meaning that your body uses a greater amount of glucose to fuel muscles, therefore lowering blood glucose (sugar) levels.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of our Exercise Physiologists, please contact our Kidman Park practice on 8356 2299.

Pro Exercise SA, Ben Edwards, Exercise Physiologist

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