Author Topic: Exercise over time  (Read 703 times)

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Offline Lacey

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Exercise over time
« on: 15 January 2014, 04:48:09 PM »
This might sound a bit of an odd question and I'm not sure I will be able to articulate it well but here goes anyway.

If I do a certain amount of exercise and my BGs show improvement because of this exercise, will my body become used to it and will it have less of an effect on my BGs over time? Will I have to up the intensity of the exercise to show even a modest benefit to my BGs once my body becomes accustomed to what I am doing now?

I am pretty new to exercise for health. I did play a lot of sport as a child and young woman but not for health purposes, just because it was fun. My knowledge of exercise and health benefits is pretty rudimentary, to be honest, other than "exercise good, no exercise bad" so if anyone could help, that would be great.
Diagnosed T2 October 2013
Latest HbA1c- 5.8 (June 2015)
Eating to my meter, exercise & Metformin 2x2x500mg per day
Happy to have found this forum :)

Offline nytquill17

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Re: Exercise over time
« Reply #1 on: 15 January 2014, 05:55:53 PM »
That's a good question! My understanding is that no, your body doesn't get used to exercise in the sense that it takes more and more to achieve the same effects (it may get used to it in the sense of being in better shape and needing more intensity to continue to build muscle after a certain point).

Exercise does two things in relation to BG. One, it burns through glucose as fuel for the active muscles, which lowers BG directly, during and immediately after the exercise. My understanding is that this promotes fat-burning later on, as the glucose the body would normally use to fuel it's regular activities (beat the heart, digest food, expand the lungs, heat the body etc.) has already been used up. When runners "hit the wall" it's the point where they've exhauted their easily-accessible glucose stores and the body is looking for another source of fuel.

Two, it sensitizes the insulin receptors in the muscles that are used and built up. That means that it takes less insulin to "open up" the receptors for glucose to go in to the muscle cells (and out of the bloodstream i.e. a lower *blood* glucose). The purpose of this is to allow the muscles which are likely to be used in your next activity to have easier access to fuel - "if we needed a lot of fuel today, we might need it again soon!" This is what is referred to when someone says that exercise reduces insulin resistance. Consider that one of the causes of high BG in diabetes is that the body isn't able to produce enough insulin to cart off all that glucose, either because there's just a lot of glucose (e.g. from a high-carb diet) or because the insulin receptor cells are resistant and need a lot of insulin to open them up, or a combination of both. So reducing the amount of insulin needed to open up the receptors helps reduce the amount of insulin overall that the body is able to produce, which means the body is better able to keep up with insulin production, and keep BG levels in range.

I'm not sure I explained that clearly? But skip to the end, as long as you maintain a certain minimum level of activity, the receptors will stay sensitized. And it doesn't have to be "exercise for health" i.e. in a gym or a class. Anything that gets you out of a resting state (anything more active than sitting or lying down) will get you some improvement. So standing is better than sitting, walking better than standing, etc.  Of course more strenuous exercise gives more obvious results, but you don't necessarily have to run or grunt or sweat to get benefits! Anything you like to do counts - playing sport or even just gardening or going for a stroll, every little helps. :) Think of your goal as not to "exercise more" or even to be "active" or "sporty", but to lead a life that has more movement and activity in it than before.
T1 DX 1995
Levemir + Novorapid
 
  ~-~-~-~
"If you can't ride, can you fall?"
"I suppose anyone can fall," said Shasta.
"I mean can you fall and get up again without crying, and mount again and fall again and yet not be afraid of falling?"
"I - I'll try," said Shasta.
  ~C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy
  ~-~-~-~
"There is no answer; seek it lovingly."

Offline Lacey

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Re: Exercise over time
« Reply #2 on: 15 January 2014, 10:09:50 PM »
Nyt, that was an amazing answer, thank you so much! You answered my question in exactly the way I was hoping, I really can't thank you enough.

In am so much more active these days it is unbelievable. My husband thinks he's married to a different woman, I am so up for doing stuff now. I get up earlier now and go out and sometimes entire days pass with me just pottering about and I haven't noticed. We're shopping or just having a walk around town and I keep challenging him to races to the next lamppost, that sort of thing. Even around the house, I am bombing about.

I started swimming again after a long time last week and I love it. I always have loved it and it feels great to be back in the pool. Apart from that, I just go walking and at the moment, I think that's enough for me as I am building up my fitness and still feel challenged by it. I'm not planning on joining a gym or going to classes as I am not sure I would enjoy them. I feel challenged enough by what I am doing right now and my BGs are responding accordingly. Overall, there hasn't been a dramatic difference but they are lower and in the short term, I can easily work off a m/mol or two with even a modest amount of exercise.
Diagnosed T2 October 2013
Latest HbA1c- 5.8 (June 2015)
Eating to my meter, exercise & Metformin 2x2x500mg per day
Happy to have found this forum :)

Offline nytquill17

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  • It's all in the balance.
Re: Exercise over time
« Reply #3 on: 16 January 2014, 12:21:27 AM »
That's the ticket! :)

I bet that having lower blood sugars is helping you have more energy to do things, which will help you get even lower blood sugars, which...! :) For once a "vicious" cycle of good things!
T1 DX 1995
Levemir + Novorapid
 
  ~-~-~-~
"If you can't ride, can you fall?"
"I suppose anyone can fall," said Shasta.
"I mean can you fall and get up again without crying, and mount again and fall again and yet not be afraid of falling?"
"I - I'll try," said Shasta.
  ~C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy
  ~-~-~-~
"There is no answer; seek it lovingly."