When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose (sugar). This glucose in your blood will provide energy for your body, but first, it needs to be absorbed from the blood into your body cells. That’s where insulin comes into the picture.
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas. Insulin tells the cells that there is glucose in the blood to be taken up. But if there is always too much glucose in the blood, the cells learns to ignore the messages from the insulin. When this happens, you end up with too much glucose in your blood. This is type 2 diabetes.
How does exercise help?
Exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. When you exercise, your muscles can use glucose without insulin. So even if your body has learned to ignore the insulin, when you exercise your muscles get the glucose they need when they contract. As a result, your blood glucose level goes down. The muscles can continue to take in glucose in this way for a few hours after you exercise. As a bonus, if your body has learned how to ignore your insulin, that is, if you are insulin resistant, exercising reduces your insulin resistance. This means that your body improves its ability to understand the message from your insulin and use the glucose in your blood more effectively.
Exercise Tip: Consider 3 short but intense bursts of exercise daily. Research showed that type 2 diabetes patients who did short bursts of high-intensity exercise for 10 minute three times daily improved their cholesterol, blood glucose and weight more than those who did 30 minutes of sustained, lower-intensity exercise daily.