diabetes y ejercicios físico


By: Aline Martins

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the causes of the increasing number of people with type 2 diabetes. The lack of physical activity contributes to the development of insulin resistance in the body. Practicing regular physical exercise, on the other hand, serves to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Not only does it improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, but caloric expenditure helps prevent overweight, the other main risk factor for diabetes. the development of pathology.

The preventive benefits of exercise against type 2 diabetes are not restricted to a particular risk group, but all people reduce their chances of developing the pathology if they maintain an active lifestyle. To do this, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends doing at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. This goal can be achieved through regular exercise, for example, running or cycling, but also by changing daily habits, such as walking quickly or climbing stairs instead of using the elevator.

The benefits of exercise related to calorie burning are proportional to the effort dedicated to physical activity. That is to say, the more and better exercise is performed, the more benefits it will have, although the intensity must always be adapted to the physical and psychological capabilities of each person. Continued exercise also stimulates muscle fibers, which continue to consume glucose even up to 24 hours after finishing physical activity.
Including the practice of regular physical exercise requires modifying daily habits, so, for the change to be successful and the new lifestyle to be permanent, it is recommended to start working with professionals who help you have the appropriate intensity and frequency as well as Support in the creation and adherence of those habits and lifestyle that will help us reach our goals. Furthermore, in the case of overweight or obese people, it will be necessary to take into account the impact on the joints that the physical activity carried out may have, and it is preferable to climb in a favorable way to avoid damage to the joints.


People with diabetes need to take measures to keep their blood glucose levels under control as their body is unable to do so adequately. Physical exercise increases glucose consumption by muscle cells, so its practice contributes to reducing blood glucose levels, both during exercise and in the following hours.

For this reason, daily exercise is a great prevention tool for hyperglycemia situations in people with diabetes. Most people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels by controlling their diet and getting regular exercise.

However, it must be taken into account that if the intensity of the exercise is high, the muscles may need more glucose than is available in the bloodstream, so the mechanisms to synthesize glucose in the liver will be activated, temporarily elevating blood sugar levels. Generally, this hyperglycemia does not require additional measures to correct it since the muscles themselves will consume this excess during sports practice and the hours afterward.

In conclusion, with a favorable diet and regular moderate exercise, the treatment and control of this pathology can be facilitated.


Any type of exercise performed at an intensity appropriate to the specific person will have beneficial effects on blood glucose control. There is no best exercise for diabetes, which is why we recommend CrossFit as a training system since you will benefit from different stimuli such as running, rowing, movements with our body weight or with external weight and the combination of these as well as other tools. of physical training.

People with type 1 diabetes and those with type 2 who require insulin injections, or the administration of secretagogue medications, should take into account the effect of exercise in advance to adjust the insulin dose both before and after exercise to prevent hypoglycemia from occurring. Failure to make an adequate adjustment can have consequences on blood glucose levels during exercise and up to 24 hours afterward.

If you exercise with excess insulin in the blood, glucose levels may drop too low and hypoglycemia may occur. If this was not taken into account when scheduling the insulin injection, it will be necessary to eat carbohydrates before and during sports, for example, oatmeal, fruit, etc.
On the contrary, exercising with insufficient insulin in the blood, due to having reduced the previous dose too much, can make it difficult for glucose to pass into the muscle fibers, producing hyperglycemia during and after physical activity. It is also likely that the body will try to resort to alternative sources of energy, which will increase ketone bodies in the blood and some symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain may be experienced.

If the exercise is of long duration, such as a soccer game or a long-distance run, it may happen that the body depletes glycogen reserves and resorts to fat metabolism. In this case, ketones will also rise, but without producing hyperglycemia, and it will only be temporary. However, it is recommended that people with diabetes consume glucose or other sugars during exercise if it lasts for a long time, to avoid hypoglycemia. Generally in the case of CrossFit we will be training short durations with 60 minute sessions including warm-up, practice of the movements of the day and cool down leaving us with 10-20 minutes of intense physical exercise relative to the capabilities and needs of each person.

The hypoglycemic effect of exercise continues after the end of exercise, so it is advisable to eat a serving of carbohydrates to prevent hypoglycemia during the following 24 hours. Both the muscles and the liver need to replenish the reserves of sugar consumed during exercise, so, although blood glucose may rise temporarily after intense physical activity, blood glucose levels must be monitored and insulin doses adjusted accordingly. properly. As we always recommend that the carbohydrate sources of your choice are unprocessed or minimally processed versions, we prefer the apple over a chocolate bun.

The practice of any sport, apart from being used for physical exercise, also contributes to people’s mental well-being. Children and adolescents in particular can benefit greatly from the more recreational aspects of sports practice and manage to lead an active and healthy lifestyle while developing social and psychological skills. Diabetes is not a reason to avoid practicing any sport, but it is advisable to learn to take the appropriate measures to keep blood glucose under control while doing it, as well as instruct the people with whom you are going to do it how to act. in case a medical emergency occurs, such as severe hypoglycemia. In any case, when deciding to carry out a specific or continuous physical activity, it is key to transfer it to the medical team, so that they, in coordination with the patient, adjust the treatment prescribed up to that moment.

More articles

Locate your COURAGE center