Managing your blood sugar and weight can be difficult if you have diabetes. Along with eating healthy, exercise is another great way to help keep you at a healthy weight and improve your blood sugar levels. Regular exercise provides many different health benefits from helping you get to and maintain a healthy weight, to giving you increased energy, strength, and overall better health. It can also help reduce the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular risk, which can be very important if you have diabetes.
The first thing to consider when starting an exercise routine is your personal fitness level and goals. Everyone is different and is at their own level of fitness. Make sure to talk to your doctor or physician about creating a specific exercise routine that works for you.
The American Diabetes Associate recommends 150 minutes of moderate to intense activity every week. Being active actually helps your insulin work more effectively because your body becomes more sensitive to insulin.
If you currently do not exercise regularly, the most important thing to remember is to start out slow. Work your way up to longer workout times and more advanced exercises. It is crucial that you give your body the time to work up to longer exercise periods or certain moves to reduce the risk of injury or other problems. If you are just starting out in your fitness journey, start small. Aim to workout for 20-30 minutes a day, 5 to 6 days a week. You can slowly increase the length of your workout as your body adjusts. According to the American Diabetes Association, you should aim to consistently keep your muscles at an increased glucose intake to effectively reap the benefit of better glucose control from exercise. This means trying to get some exercise in at least 5-6 days a week to be consistent.
Make sure to test your blood sugar before or even during exercise if needed. Monitoring your blood sugar levels before, during and after exercise can help prevent any issues and help you achieve your most effective workout. You should make it a habit to check your blood sugar before and after your workouts regularly, especially if you are trying new exercises. This will help you to learn how your body reacts to different types of exercise.
Whether you are just starting your exercise routine or are currently active, we've listed some of the best exercises for diabetics below to help you with your fitness journey
Walking is a simple activity that you can do almost anywhere. If you have a treadmill or a gym membership you can walk inside at any time, no matter what the weather is like. If you don't want to spend extra money, you can simply walk around your neighborhood or go to a local park. Walking is a very simple exercise that can easily be done every day. It is also the perfect starting point for those who do not exercise regularly. Walking is a low intensity activity that can be done at your own pace and for as long as you can. Start by going for 15-20 minute walks a day, then work your way up to 30-45 minute walk or a light jog. Whatever your fitness level, walking is a simple and easy exercise to incorporate into your daily routine.
Yoga is an amazing exercise that provides many different health benefits. Yoga can help improve your strength, circulation, weight, and boost your mood. Yoga does not require any additional equipment (other than a yoga mat) and can easily be done from almost anywhere. Yoga is also a great exercise for beginners. You can start out with shorter, easier yoga flows and work your way up to more advanced moves. If you enjoy group classes, sign up for a yoga class at your local studio. If you do not want to spend too much extra money, you can find many different yoga flow videos online that you can do from your own home.
Cycling is another great exercise for those with diabetes. Some diabetic develop Diabetic Neuropathy when the nerves become damaged, which can lead to joint pain. This can cause excess pain and discomfort during exercise. If you have regular joint pain, low-impact exercises such as cycling can be a great option. You can use an outdoor bicycle and take rides around your neighborhood or parks, or use an stationary bike so you can exercise at any time, during any type of weather.
Swimming is another exercise that is especially gentle on your joints. Swimming is recommended for those with severe joint or muscle pain because it allows your to exercise while reducing discomfort. When you swim, most of your body weight is supported by the water which makes it easier to move and causes less pain than other exercises. You can try joining a local fitness club that has an indoor pool so you can swim at any time of the year. If you already have a pool you can start doing laps in your own backyard!
Dancing is a simple way to move your entire body and get in a great workout. There are many kinds of aerobic dance classes at any fitness level, so you can find the one that works best for you. Remember, you can always modify the moves to adjust to your own fitness level and work up to more advanced moves or quicker dances. Dance is another great exercise that can be done with no equipment. Plus, if you don't want to join a studio or class you can find many different aerobic dance videos online and do them right from your living room .