Exercise helps type 2 diabetes by burning extra fat, helping the body use insulin, which in turn controls blood glucose, lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol ratios and making stroke and heart disease less of a risk, according to WebMD. Diabetics should include regular exercise in their self-management program.
People who exercise cause their bodies to need additional energy from their glucose stores, notes WebMD. A quick sprint, such as chasing a dog that runs out the front door and refuses to come back, causes the liver and muscles to emit glucose for use as fuel. However, people who perform moderate exercise for a longer period of time, such as rowing a boat, going for a bike ride, or going for a moderately intense hike, use much more glucose from the muscles, lowering overall blood sugar levels.
It is crucial to check blood sugar levels during periods of exercise lasting more than an hour, states WebMD. One should also carry along a small carbohydrate snack such as juice or an orange during exercise, in case sugar levels start to plummet. With the right precautions, however, exercise has many properties that make it an ideal activity for anyone, including the type 2 diabetic.