Physical activity and emotional well being

When I started managing my diabetes after diagnosis in 1998 it was all about one thing only: bringing down my blood sugars, which initially post prandial were in the 300 plus range, without having to take any oral medications.
In about a year I had achieved that goal, my Hba1c was 5.2 and random tests were never above about 140. The formula was simple though somewhat demanding: Restrict my carbs to ones low on the glycemic index, and go for a 40 minute brisk walk immediately after each of my three major meals throughout the day.
What happened though was that I became addicted to the walking and my new lifestyle, to the degree that if for any reason I had to miss a walk it made me feel unwell. I guess there is some chemical explanation for what happens when we do regular exercise, but I could best describe it as a sense of emotional well being.
Over time, though that was not my original priority, I lost weight, going from 224 lbs to 180 lbs… That made me feel good about myself and also contributed to the sense of emotional well being. That again resulted in far less stress and worries, which as we know increases bg levels.
Of course it is not for everyone to do three brisk walks a day, or even to walk, but for those who have the ability, and miss out on the opportunity, you are missing out on something that not only could help you manage your diabetes type 2 without medications, but put your mind at rest.


I totally agree with your assertion that physical activity adds to a sense of well-being. I walk about four miles almost every day. It helps a lot to mitigate excessive blood sugar excursions. To me walking is the catalyst that makes my insulin and food regimen work. Without walking my BGs start to range out of control in just two or three inactive days.

Walking makes me feel like I’m in control of my glucose metabolism. The numbers it produces affirms my sense of well-being.

your story is touching, i am a type one from Uganda, i have shared your post on my wall to help my friends also with diabetes

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Also this does not only apply to blood sugar control. I have seen studies that show that seniors wanting to preserve or enhance their brain power as they age, will get more bang for the buck spending time on physical activity than on solving the New York Times crossword puzzle. In other words, physical activity has a proven positive affect on brain health.