MOVE YOUR BODY… Actively taking control of your Diabetes through exercise.
You’ve heard it time and time again that regular physical activity has countless benefits for health and wellbeing. Even more so for people living with diabetes.
- Helps the body use insulin better and keep blood glucose at recommended levels
- Assists you in monitoring your blood pressure, because high blood pressure means you’re more at risk of diabetes complications
- Improves cholesterol (blood fats) to help protect against problems like heart disease
- Great for weight loss and maintenance – there are so many more benefits to shedding those excess pounds
- Gives you energy and helps you sleep
- Strengthens joints and improves flexibility
- Reduces stress and anxiety levels – exercise releases endorphins, which you could think of as happy hormones
- For people with Type 2 diabetes, being active helps improve your HbA1c
These benefits can be amplified if you make mindful food choices, quit or reduce smoking and get enough sleep.
You may have tried exercise before and found it to be too tiring or found more difficulty in managing your diabetes. You’re not alone. It’s about finding what works for you and depends on lots of things, like what you enjoy, where you are and how much time you have and also listening to your body and its responses to different types of activities. Monitoring is key as you can note which activities cause undesirable effects and try other options. The good news is that increasing your physical activity levels doesn’t have to be drastic.
Here are some easy ways to get moving in your everyday life.
- Turn on some music and dance while doing chores
- Take a walk during commercial breaks while watching TV
- Get moving with a You Tube workout or yoga session
- • Plant and take care of a garden even if it’s a container garden
- Walking catch-ups with friends (choose a time where there’s less people around)
- Throwing or kicking a ball around in the park
- Parking or stopping off a couple blocks away from your stop
- Strolling through nature
- Using the stairs instead of elevators
- Standing or walking around when you’re on the phone
- Doing chair-exercises like ‘Sit-to-Stands’
- Setting reminder notifications to get up from your desk regularly
Remember that a little bit of activity has so many benefits, so do as much as you can and celebrate the changes you make, no matter how insignificant it may seem. It all adds up. If you’re worried about starting any of these types of activities, talk to your GP. They will be able to give you advice on how you can adjust things to suit your unique case.
Sources: idf.org diabetes.org.uk