Diabetes and Exercise
Being physically active just like eating healthy is an important requirement in managing diabetes successfully. It helps diabetics burn those excess calories, maintain healthy weight and lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Aside from the obvious benefits to the health, it also improves emotional and mental well-being.
Exercising is one physical activity that is ideal for diabetics. It is any physical activity that uses movement such as walking, running, biking or even working in your garden. Exercise is often associated with planned routines and programs but it can actually be any physical activity involving the movement of a group of muscles.
As diabetes is associated with heart conditions, one must first seek doctor’s clearance before exercising. When exercising it is important to do those activities that one finds enjoyable. If you find you like walking, running or biking; why not make this a regular activity daily? This way you get do a favorite activity and exercise in the process. Doing a favorite activity as a form of exercise will most likely make you stick to it and achieve the benefits of regular exercise.
Next is that one needs to start slowly so as not to strain the body or adversely affect the body chemistry. It is also important to still continue monitoring blood glucose levels even when doing regular exercise. Both diet and physical activities affect blood glucose levels. Monitoring blood glucose levels will not only allow you to see their positive effects but will also encourage you to go further. There are also continuous glucose monitors that can be hooked to the body even while exercising. Once you have warmed-up, you can increase exercise frequency, length of time or intensity of your exercise routines.
It also helps if you find someone to exercise with or join a group. You do not have to exercise for long periods of time all at once especially if you feel too strained to do it. Instead of a continuous 30 minute exercise, you can try breaking it up into 10 minutes of intense activity with periods of rest in-between.
When you already have a regular exercise routine, think of increasing physical activity throughout the day. Choose options that will allow you to move more like taking the stairs instead of using the elevator or escalator or walking to the store instead of driving. More importantly, you need to make a long term plan to continue exercising and factor into that plan milestones such as target blood glucose levels, ideal weight and ideal cholesterol levels. Where diabetes is concerned, being consistent is important in terms of diet and physical activity.