Staying active will enable a person to cope up with their diabetes. Individuals with diabetes must exercise regularly as this can regulate your blood sugar level as well as diminish the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Exercise helps in regulating the blood sugar levels because working muscles utilize more glucose than resting muscles. Muscle movement leads to high sugar utilization by the working muscles, leading to lower blood sugar level.
Exercise also strengthens the muscles, enables you to maintain a healthy weight and sharpens your athletic skills. It elevates your immunity and protects you against heart problems, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
So, what would count as regular exercise?
I would say performing aerobic activities for thirty minutes every day at a moderate level and exercising at a level that induces sweating and elevates your heart rate moderately can be termed as ‘regular exercise.’
Aerobic activities include brisk walking, biking, swimming, dancing, badminton, tennis, etc.
House chores, although considered as physical activity, is not too demanding and therefore does not count as exercise.
Let us look at this in a little more detail:
DIABETIC FITNESS STEP ONE: Incorporate physical activity on your daily routine. You must replace some of the things that you do every day and convert them into physical activities. How about parking a little far, so that you have to walk an extra mile every day? If you are on a sedentary, computer job that entails sitting for eight hours in a day – try and go out for regular brisk walks after lunch. Incorporate stretching at your desk every hour or so. Change your sitting position frequently – this helps the blood to flow correctly.
DIABETIC FITNESS STEP TWO: Incorporate thirty minutes of aerobic exercises every day. We have discussed the kind of aerobic activities diabetics can perform. If your hectic schedule does not allow a straight thirty-minute exercise, incorporate three intervals of ten minutes each. Try and be creative with your training so that it never bores you. Include fun activities in your workout to make it super exciting.
Need more motivation? Get an exercise buddy. Ask a friend to accompany you every day and post your status on Facebook. This helps in creating accountability too.
DIABETIC FITNESS TIP THREE: Incorporate strength training in your daily workout regime. Ideally, this should be done a few days after you begin your aerobic workout.
Strength training enables you to get lean muscles along with strong and healthy bones. It is especially recommended for individuals impacted with type 2 diabetes since muscles use most of the glucose. This helps in controlling the blood sugar levels.
DIABETIC FITNESS TIP FOUR: Incorporate flexibility training to improve the functionality of your muscles and joints. Stretch before and after exercise in order to relax your muscles and prevent muscle soreness.
DIABETIC FITNESS TIP FIVE: Try and hit the magic number of 10,000 steps a day. If possible, invest in a pedometer to keep you motivated and walk at least 10,000 steps in a day. Do not start 10,000 steps all at once though – begin slowly but aim to achieve the target steps within a few days. Most important – never give up. 10,000 seems a lot initially, but believe me, when you begin doing this, it will look super easy. I started at 2,400 steps in a day and now average at 13,700 steps per day.