If you are someone who is living with diabetes, you are certainly not alone. Reportedly, over 8 percent of America’s population either has Type 1 diabetes (in which a person is insulin-dependent) or Type 2 (where a large majority of individuals can monitor their blood sugar levels via their diet). And while no one likes living with diabetes, the great news is that there are many things that you can do to manage it; one of the most essential ways is through exercise.
So, just how can you manage your diabetes with exercise? We have three main things to keep in mind:
Why You Should Exercise
There’s no doubt about the fact that regardless of the state of someone’s personal health and well-being, they should definitely make exercise a priority. It’s good for the health of the heart, it keeps weight levels balanced, it tones the muscles and it’s a wonderful natural source of energy. However, when you have diabetes, there are several other things that exercising does for you: it aids in keeping your cholesterol levels even, it keeps your blood pressure down and it helps to control your glucose levels.
What Kinds of Exercises Should You Do?
According to many health experts, it’s important that we all commit to exercising for at least 30-45 minutes, 3-5 times per week. When it comes to the kinds of exercises that are recommended for someone with diabetes, if you have it, there’s not really any that you are (necessarily) deterred from. However, it’s a good idea to participate in the kind that is classified as “moderate activity”. These include brisk walking, bike riding (cycling), dancing, swimming and doing yard work such as mowing the lawn (only not with a riding mower). The reason why these kinds of exercises are good for you is due to the fact that they will increase your heart rate and help you to burn anywhere from 3-7 calories per minute. Another form of exercise that is highly recommended is strength training because it builds up your muscle. That said, if there is a word of caution it would this: If you haven’t exercised in a long period of time, it is extremely important that you start slow and, over time, work to build up your endurance. You don’t want to be so caught up in not wanting to need to use diabetic supplies that you push yourself too hard and end up incurring a physical injury.
Now that you know why you should exercise and the kinds of exercises that you should do, the other thing to keep in mind is that it’s extremely important to be committed to the process. Sometimes, when we’re exercising and we start to see results such as a loss of weight or even an improvement in our blood sugar levels, we’ll stop being as focused on exercising as we initially were. Although exercising can definitely help you to manage your diabetes, be sure to always keep in mind that with diabetes or without, an exercise regimen is still very important for your mind, body and spirit.
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