Staying active for those who have diabetes is not just about slimming down or getting in shape. Getting involved in regular physical activity helps someone with diabetes to manage their blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight plus it decreases the risk for developing more health problems associated with being diabetic, such as problems with the kidneys, heart, nerves, and eyes.
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then it is important to consult your doctor so you can collaborate to develop an exercise plan that would be safe for you. Generally, aiming for about 2.5 hours of aerobic activity per week is the best, as recommended by the latest in diabetes guidelines.
So, if you are a diabetic or knows someone who is, read on the following Top 8 Best Exercise and Tips for those with type 2 diabetes.
1. Try Cycling and Indulge in Fun Cardio
The goal here is to try out repetitive aerobic activities such as swimming, hiking, cycling, tennis, rowing and even climbing stairs. Why? Because studies have shown that having a varied workout routine helps a person to stay motivated and reduces the possibility of having an injury due to overuse. A tip is to consult your doctor prior to indulging yourself in a new activity to ensure its safe.
2. Stretching Helps
Doing exercises that improve your flexibility, such as stretching, is a great part of any fitness routine. Stretching reduces stiffness and makes you more fit to try other enjoyable activities. For this reason, one of the best exercises is doing yoga. Yoga works your muscles while improving your flexibility and calming your mind. A bonus is that some studies suggests that engaging in yoga may help in the control of the blood sugar.
3. Keep it Low Impact
This is specifically targeted for those with nerve damage in the feet. Jumping or running, which are high-impact moves should be avoided and instead swimming, walking and cycling are advised because they are low-impact to moderate-impact activities. Another way to keep it low impact for those with a foot injury or foot sore is to do chair exercises until the problem is healed.
4. Use your Body Weight
Strength training with resistance bands, weight machines, and dumbbells works but an alternative is to use your own body weight to improve the strength of your muscles. Exercises that uses your body weight to increase your muscle strength includes push-ups, lunges and crunches. They are as effective as those which uses extra gear and equipment but can be done in the comfort of your own home, or even when traveling.
5. It Does not Have to be Strenuous
For individuals who are obese or have diabetic neuropathy, very straining exercises such as high impact activities and lifting heavy weights should be avoided. Moves that lower down the head compared to the rest of the body such as those done in yoga should be skipped as well. Generally, doctor-approved low to moderate impact exercises is the way to go.
6. High Blood Pressure is Not an Excuse
If you have some complications of diabetes such as high blood pressure, that is not an excuse to just sit around. True, your doctor may advise you to forego certain activities such as strenuous activities but mild to moderate strength and aerobic exercises are usually fine. This is good news for those who really love staying active but may feel hindered by their diabetes.
7. Flex Those Muscles
Going for strength training exercises like using dumbbells and weight machines helps you develop strong bones and muscles with a bonus of making your body less resistant to insulin, thus lowering your blood sugar. In fact, according from the latest in diabetes guidelines, it is recommended that those with diabetes engage in two to three days of strength training on top of their aerobic exercises routine.
8. Have a Walk
The best exercise is often what we take for granted. Walking is an easy to do, no extra gear needed, excellent aerobic activity for everyone, not just diabetics. A moderate pace when walking is best. That means you can still talk but can’t sing straight while walking. To make your walks more interesting, try having a walking buddy or varying your route every now and then.
With these 8 exercise tips for diabetics that you can use or perhaps share with loved ones, I aim to improve the quality of life of individuals with DM who may not know that they can enjoy a divine and healthy way of living even when one is living with diabetes. Cheers to your health!
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