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  • Thothathri Raman

Cycling helps Diabetics




The International Diabetes Federation says that 1 in 10 adults will suffer from diabetes by 2040. In addition, the IDF also notes the substantial impact that this disease has on the world economy, absorbing about 12% of health expenditure (equivalent to € 600 billion).The Center for Disease Control and Prevention of USA projects that up to one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050.


Diabetes is an autoimmune disease: the immune system quickly destroys the beta cells that produce insulin, a hormone essential for the body because it regulates the amount of glucose in the blood avoiding the phenomenon of high blood sugar. This disease is irreversible, so the patient diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will necessarily have to take daily, and for life, doses of insulin (hence the definition of insulin-dependent diabetes). The causes of this disease are still unknown but, as an autoimmune disease, it is thought to be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include abundant and frequent urine, thirst and excessive hunger, sudden and unmotivated slimming.


Techno-Gym.com a lifestyle and health related media website has a detailed article in which it mentions "Preventing diabetes with cycling: mission possible". Quoting an extensive Danish study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, involved almost 25,000 men and 28,000 women between 50 and 65 years, the article says :"cycling reduces the risk of getting diagnosed with diabetes and the more you pedal, the further away you get the disease, with positive effects that are obtained even starting at a late age, after 50 years. The study shows that those who start cycling late (on average) get a 20% reduction in the risk of diabetes. The beneficial effects of two-wheelers emerge independently of other factors that may affect the risk of disease, such as nutrition, weight problems."


In terms of reducing blood sugar levels, moderate exercise is also more effective than intense physical activity: 30 to 60 minutes of cycling per day is enough to take advantage of the anti-diabetes benefits of two wheels. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that cycling at a moderate pace for an hour allows overweight people with diabetes to halve their blood sugar levels in the next 24 hours.




in another popular article on netsearch we found that for an athlete with Type 1 Diabetes, a large part of life revolves around that balance of trying to match the amount of insulin required to their blood sugar level. A


nd it’s a moving target – blood sugar and the effect that a given dose of insulin will have is often difficult to predict.



If you’re taking insulin, the Mayo Clinic recommends testing your blood sugar 30 minutes before exercising or riding a cycle and offers the following guidelines relative to your blood sugar levels —m


easured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L)—to know if you’re ready to roll:

Lower than 100 mg/dL (5.


6 mmol/L): Your blood sugar may be too low to exercise safely. Eat a small carbohydrate-rich snack before you begin riding. •100 to 250 mg/dL (5.6 to 13.9 mmol/L): For most riders, this is a green-light range indicating you’re good to go. •250 mg/dL (13.9 mmol/L) or higher: Use caution. Before saddling up, test your urine for ketones, which your body makes when it breaks down fat for fuel. Excess ketones mean you don’t have enoug


h insulin to control your blood sugar, and could make riding dangerous. Postpone your ride until your levels are low or clear. •300 mg/dL (16.7 mmol/L) or higher: Your blood sugar may be too high for you to ride safely. Put off your ride until your blood sugar drops to a safe pre-exercise range.

People with type 1 diabetes need to balance what they eat and drink with their insulin medication to keep their blood glucose in range. Food range can include nuts of any kind, vegetables, eggs, meat, diary and all other normal foods without much oil, butter or deep frying.


The usual blood sugar target ranges for children of all ages are:

  • Before meals: 70 to 150

  • 2 to 3 hours after meals: less than 180

  • Bedtime and during the night: 90 to 150

As a matter of course either limit or completely avoid any type of foods, fruits and fruit juices that contain sugar. Regular intake of water and glasses of milk with breakfast and dinner would help a lot. In tropical countries, try and consume as much yogurt as possible.



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