Walking In Diabetes : How good is it for reducing blood sugar levels?

Empty road for walking

Whenever we gossip about diabetes or high blood sugar levels, there's one thing that most of time goes hand in hand is - how can we control it?

There're a number of suggestions right from talking medicines on time to exercising regularly that are prescribed to a diabetic for avoiding hyperglycemia, but how effective are these suggestions in reality? 

In this article, we'll be looking at one among the most commonly prescribed exercise - WALKING for reducing blood sugar levels and will find out different aspects in detail that are associated with walking in diabetes. 

So, let's began with understanding how exercise and walking to be specific works for our body and how it can be helpful for a diabetic.

Significance Of Walking In Diabetes

In order to understand this point properly, we need to first know how exercise in general affects blood sugar levels. 

Whenever we indulge in any moderate level of exercise, our heart start to beat a little faster and we start to breathe a little harder. This is because your heart start pumping more blood to your involved muscles so that they can perform any action properly.

Your muscles start using more glucose, the sugar in your blood stream and in this way more amount of blood sugar gets consumed by your body, resulting in reduced blood sugar levels.  Not just that, it also makes the insulin in your body work better. 

"Insulin is a hormone that helps your body turn blood sugar (glucose) into energy"

Walking, being one type of an exercise, works in the same way and helps in burning more amount of blood sugar effectively. Not just that, walking has been seen to work for many other health benefits such as cardiovascular health, weight management, stronger bones and much more.

Can diabetes be cured by walking?

From the above explanation, it get's very clear that - YES, walking can prove to be very effective in reducing blood sugar levels

But, it's equally important to note as the question says - can walking cure diabetes? If this question means that can it be permanently cured by just walking for sometime, then NO, it does not provide a permanent cure to diabetes.

Walking everyday can be helpful in controlling the blood sugar levels and yes if you can sustain this routine along with other suggestions provided by your doctor for years, then it might work for you in reducing blood sugar levels for years.

How many steps should a diabetic walk in a day?

So, from the above info. we know that walking can be really helpful for diabetics and sustaining it for long period of time can result in better outcomes for an equal or more amount of time.

Next point that strikes out mind is how much should we walk in diabetes, or if we take the question directly - How many km should a diabetic walk. For this, it's important to note that there's no hard and fast rule that we need to walk for x no. of steps or for x amount of time everyday for reducing blood sugar levels.

Time duration can depend from person to person which can be best known by contacting a qualified professional doctor. But, to take it in general or what might work for most diabetics, 
a healthy goal can be 30 minutes of moderate walking for most days of the week, can work for controlling blood sugar. 

To take it more specifically as per the question, 2,400 steps/day or at least 1.2 miles/day can be a good starting target for people suffering with diabetes. 

You can also write down your blood sugar levels everyday to track whether exercising is working in reducing blood sugar or not.

Best Time To Walk For Diabetes

Similar to the above point, there's no definitive answer that is proven as the best time to walk for everyone. For easy implementation, you can take a 15-minute walk after every meal. It might help to lower post-meal blood sugar for some hours. 

Try doing it every day after every meal and you might see it's effectiveness in controlling blood sugar levels.

So, with all that above information, we know how effective walking can be for diabetes and how long do you have to walk to lower blood sugar. But, Just remember that you don’t overdo it. Excess exercise can prove to do more harm to your body than doing anything good, especially if you're a diabetic. 

Very intense exercise can cause the body to make more stress hormones which can lead to an increase in blood sugar. Hence, always exercise in moderation and after proper consulting with a qualified professional doctor. 

With controlled blood sugar levels, other diabetes related health complications such as bad oral health, heart problems, stroke and much more can be effectively avoided. If you want to know more on how to keep teeth and gums healthy in diabetes, you can check out the article on diabetes and oral health for more information.

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