How Getting Active can help manage your Diabetes
For those diagnosed with diabetes the importance of exercise for controlling the disease cannot be underestimated. Exercise can help lower blood sugar, control weight, lower blood pressure, lower 'bad' cholesterol, raise 'good' cholesterol, strengthen bones, increase muscle, reduce anxiety and improve mood
Increasing physical activity has a huge impact on increasing sensitivity to insulin, which will help to combat insulin resistance
Every Little Bit Counts
If you are overwhelmed by the amount of information out there or just can't seem to get into the rhythm of regular exercise just know that increasing the amount of physical activity in any way from what you currently do will have a huge impact. Start slowly and set goals to increase the amount of physical activity you do.
What Can you do?
The goal is to get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise per week at a moderate intensity. Doing 20-25 minutes per day is an easy way to break this up, include activities that work all the major muscle groups like your legs, back, abdomen and chest
Examples of Moderate exercise are:
- A brisk walk
- Playing Sports
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t worked exercised in a couple of years or have never purposefully exercised before getting started is one of the best things you can do for your diabetes and for your health in general. Before you start exercising you might want to think about:
- Finding something you enjoy: One of the most important parts about exercising is repetition and consistency. Finding something you enjoy doing is the best way to insure you stick to it.
- Finding a partner: Your more likely to stick to something if someone else is relying on you and things are generally more fun when done with other people.
- Scheduling it into your life: Sometimes life gets in the way, but a habit cannot be formed without repetition. Try to find ways to be more active during a regular day like walking to lunch instead of driving or using the stairs instead of the elevator.
Before starting any physical activity, check with your doctor to talk about the best physical activities for you. Be sure to discuss proper preparation and what to avoid.
- Make sure to bring plenty of water to prevent dehydration and snacks in case of unexpected blood sugar lows.
- Check your blood sugar before you exercise, especially if you take insulin.
- When you exercise ensure that you wear proper socks and athletic shoes
- After exercise check your blood sugar and check your feet for bruises, cuts, abrasions irritation and any other injuries.