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Diabetes and Exercise – Get Moving!

By on August 8, 2013

diabetes and exerciseDiabetes and exercise go hand in hand. The importance of exercise when you have diabetes cannot be under estimated. But, what are the top diabetes exercise programs? And, how does exercise affect diabetes?

First, let’s take a look at the benefits of exercise and diabetes health.

The National Institute of Health lists the following, research proving, benefits of a good exercise program. Pay attention, there are over 10 documented benefits!

Please note, however, that these are just the ones the NIH came up with. If you dig deeper, the benefits go far beyond this small list.

TOP EXERCISE BENEFITS

  • Lower blood glucose and blood pressure
  • Lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol
  • Improve body’s ability to use insulin
  • Lower risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Keep heart and bones strong
  • Keep joints flexible
  • Lower risk of falling
  • Help you lose weight
  • Reduce your body fat
  • More energy
  • Reduce stress

Living an active lifestyle can seem overwhelming. Often, people think they must join a gym or buy expensive work-out equipment. This is simply not the case. Your diabetes and exercise routine can be done almost anywhere!

Aerobic Exercise. Try and do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days a week. Do a brisk walk, go dancing, take a hike, climb some stairs, go swimming, play, tennis, basketball, or volleyball, ride your bike or go skiing. The list of possibilities is endless. Pilates and Tai Chi are also great ways to stay healthy with diabetes.

Yoga may be the best diabetes exercise program, however. Recent studies suggest that yoga can help significantly with treating, if not preventing, diabetes.

Strength Training. Building muscle and losing fat is a big help in managing diabetes and living well. Muscle burns more calories than fat, helps with balance and coordination, and builds stronger bones, avoiding or slowing the effects of osteoporosis. Learn more of why strength training or weight lifting is an essential part of your exercise routine.

Also, if you have never heard of or understood the benefits of Kettlebell Exercises, you must check out this article. Simply Amazing!

Stretching. A good stretching routine is also helpful to having a better workout, quicker recovery (reduces muscle soreness), and lowering stress.

Even if you have to start small, think about how a change in some daily habits can help you get started with a more active lifestyle.

EXERCISE TIPS

exercise cartoon

  • Walk around while you talk on the phone.
  • Play with the kids.
  • Take the dog for a walk.
  • Work in the garden or rake leaves.
  • Clean the house.
  • Wash the car.
  • Stretch out your chores. For example, make two trips to take the laundry downstairs instead of one.
  • Park at the far end of the shopping center parking lot and walk to the store.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Stretch or walk around instead of taking a coffee break and eating.
  • During your lunch break, walk to the post office or do other errands.

 

HOW TO GET STARTED

Step 1: Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Step 2: Think of ways to have fun with exercise. It doesn’t have to be boring or hard. Remember, diabetes and exercise go hand in hand. Have fun with your workouts and change them around to keep you motivated!

Step 3: Stick With It. Do something each day. It is a lifelong pursuit, not a one, or couple of times event. Thus, go back to Step 2 and try to have fun with it!

OTHER RESOURCES

Eric The Trainer

eric-the-trainer-150x128Looking for a great work out and a lot of fun? Eric is a personal friend of mine and has done a great job bringing enthusiasm to working out. He does 1,000 push ups a day and has a show on the WB. His “Sleeping Beauty,” Sleeping Giant” and “Fit Call” workouts really get the job done. Take a look at his website here

 

The point with all of this above is to just get out there and DO IT! Remember, even if you’re just going for a walk, you’re doing laps around the guy sitting on the couch! Pick something you like and schedule it into your day. You won’t be sorry and just getting started will build momentum.

By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed January 2013