If there is one sport in India, after cricket that can be seen being played in every street and colony, it has to be badminton. All you need is a shuttle, racquets and the will to get out and play the game. As the pressure of work and studies continue to burden our lives, we often forget to take care of the one thing that should always be our first concern — fitness. Fitness is important, although often ignored part of life. Recently, a study conducted under the Diabetes Prevention Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that exercise decreases the risk of developing diabetes by 58 per cent.
Harshita Dilawri, Nutritionist and Diabetic Educator explain, “Exercise can reduce the glucose content in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down. If you’re insulin resistant, exercise actually makes your insulin more effective. That is, your insulin resistance goes down when you exercise, and your cells can use glucose more effectively.”
Basically, playing badminton not just helps you keep fit but it also decreases the production of sugar by the liver and therefore can decrease fasting blood sugar, making this sport a great physical activity for diabetic people. The sport is a moderate-intensity activity that doesn’t put your body through much strain either.
According to Harshita, if a diabetic is playing this sport consistently, there is a possibility that it can help regulate the production of insulin in the pancreas as well as the glycolysis process, which means degradation of sugar from the liver, and its conversion to glucose in the blood.
Now comes the big question — is the sport safe for diabetic people of all ages? “Absolutely! Frequent and regular physical exercise is recommended for people of all ages as it boosts the immune system and helps protect against conditions such as heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and other major illnesses,” assures Harshita.
All you have to do is follow the golden rules of all sports — play only after an adequate warm-up, stay hydrated (ALWAYS), don’t forget to have a pre-game snack to fuel up your body, and never forget to stretch after you are done playing. Remember to always listen to your body and know when to stop. If you are tired, feeling ill or something is hurting, don’t force yourself and relax to prevent a more serious problem from developing. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun.