What type of exercise should someone with diabetes do and how often should they do it?


10 simple ways to move more and weigh less!

Physical activity is one of the essential ingredients in the management of all types of diabetes. Exercise is like taking a tablet for your diabetes that lowers your blood glucose levels for many hours afterwards but doesn’t need to cost a cent. A dose of “moving more” doesn’t have the nasty side effects that medications can have but can have enormous benefits for not only your blood glucose levels, but your weight, mood, cardiac health, circulatory system, cholesterol and brain function! What are you waiting for…

Physical activity doesn’t have to come in the shape of an aerobics or spin class or even gym membership. You do not need to purchase any lycra however good footwear is essential for whatever activity you do.

Moving more is the idea and you can achieve this by doing more gardening, walking further or simply doing more housework (ok, not such a pleasant idea).  Movement of any sort fires up your metabolism which helps you to regulate your weight and the added benefit of this is that any weight loss contributes to lower your blood glucose levels (BGL’s).

Research has also told us that increasing your bodies muscle mass results in lower glucose readings. This is because muscle cells require more glucose than other cells even in their resting state. In essence, this means you burn more calories and lower your glucose levels even when you’re doing absolutely nothing. Now that is good news!

Now let us not forget that the body is an amazing piece of machinery and that it has an incredible ability to adapt to what ever you make it do. For example, if you do fairly much the same amount and type of exercise on a regular basis your body will adapt and do this more efficiently and effectively. This over time may lead to a slowing or a plateau in the results you are working so hard to achieve.

Out smart your body by increasing your activity levels when you are no longer challenged by the exercise you do regularly. Use muscles you don’t normally use by adding in a new activity or exercise regimen. This will place heavy demands on your body and lead to increased metabolism, improved muscle conditioning and even better brain function.

Whatever form of activity you use, don’t forget to write it in your glucose diary

People with diabetes should be aiming for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

Here are some simple ideas that you can try today:

Wear a pedometer. Write down your daily steps in your diary and aim for an improvement every day. Walks do not have to be done all at one time. You can do several smaller sessions if this is all your body can cope with. It all adds up!

Stand don’t sit. You will burn significantly more kilojoules by standing than sitting. It is better for your posture to. So when you are on the phone, watching TV or even working on your computer, set this at an appropriate height and reap the benefits.

Make a diary date: Exercise is something you can do for yourself but it is so easily placed on the ‘optional’ list and is the first thing that is dropped off. But place it like an appointment in your diary and keep that appointment with yourself, you will be so glad you did.

Stop the negative self talk: How often does the alarm go off and you reach over and hit the snooze button thinking that you really need the extra sleep. But ask yourself instead: “will I feel better for the extra sleep or after I have done my exercise”. You know the answer! Turn off your brain in the morning and just slide those shoes on and after 5 minutes you will not regret your decision.

Make it easy: Each night before you go to bed, plan your activity for the next day and have your clothes out and ready to go. This helps reduce procrastination and makes for a simple transition from sheets to exercise gear.

Don’t use the weather as an excuse: If it is hot, find your local pool and hop in, or simply rise early and head out before the heat reaches its peak. If it is wet, there is a plethora of DVD’s for all levels of fitness.

Variety is the spice of your exercise life: Not only does variety help to prevent your body adapting to the same exercise but it also helps stop you from becoming bored.

Friends are good: Find like minded buddies that are keen to train alongside you. They will not only help you to commit to your plan but also keep you entertained. Think about meeting with a friend and going for a walk rather than sitting and having coffee.

Pump it up to music: Do you have some songs that just want to make you dance? Put them onto you MP3 player and you are guaranteed to increase your intensity without even noticing. Music at the right beat can increase effort levels by up to 25%.

Do the things you enjoy: Write down the forms of physical activity that you enjoy and even those things that you have always wanted to try but haven’t got around to doing. By finding activities that you enjoy you will be more likely to continue to do them for the long term.


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