Having diabetes is challenging, and some activities are totally off limits for people with the condition because of their blood sugar levels. However, exercise shouldn’t be one of them. On the contrary, physical activity can actually help manage diabetes. Working out regularly helps bring down glucose levels, lower the risk of heart disease, improve blood pressure, and help manage a weight. Incorporating exercise into a one’s lifestyle will be beneficial for them in the long run. This article will look at some of the best activities individuals with diabetes can do to become more physically active.
What exercises work best for people with diabetes?
Different forms of exercise affect blood sugar differently. Aerobic exercise like running or cycling can cause blood glucose levels to drop. On the other hand, anaerobic exercise like martial arts or boxing tends to cause high blood glucose levels because of the stress it induces. For more experienced fitness individuals, combining aerobic and anaerobic exercise through activities like interval training gives them more control over their blood sugar levels.
Endocrine Web advises getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, as it is a good way to get into a fitness routine and burn calories easily. Walking is a great low-impact activity that requires very little equipment – all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes. This exercise is also the easiest to integrate into your schedule, as it can be as simple as walking to the shops instead of taking the car.
Swimming is another aerobic activity that helps keep blood glucose levels down. It’s also a low-impact yet high-calorie burning sport. Even just floating in the water is in itself a workout. Prevention.com advises that swimming is a good alternative to walking for diabetic patients with neuropathy, which often causes pain when putting pressure on your feet.
If you’d like to switch up your cardio routine a bit, using a stationary bike might be the activity for you. Aside from the cardio benefits, Joslin Diabetes Center suggests cycling for low-impact muscle strengthening. The Center writes that as “muscles take up [glucose] better than fat, the more muscle you have the better your blood glucose numbers will be.” Before you start, remember to adjust the bike properly to your size to avoid any injuries. If you feel like you can manage an even bigger challenge, try joining a spinning class. Keep in mind however, to only cycle at a pace you’re comfortable with.
Low Impact Weight Training
In line with the above point, weight training is also hugely beneficial. Use free weights or weight machines to work all your muscle groups at least twice a week. Again, remember to only use weights that are manageable for you. Also ask for help from a spotter if you feel like you need it.
Exercising is important as the diabetes epidemic is escalating, with Diabetes.com reporting that 25.2% of people over 65 are dealing with the disease. This number becomes even more critical when you take into consideration how the healthcare industry is growing at an increasing rate. Maryville University’s evaluation of the U.S. healthcare industry details that an aging population is one of the key reasons why the industry is expanding so rapidly. This means that more senior citizens will rely on healthcare to treat conditions such as diabetes. As the industry becomes stretched, it becomes more important for people with diabetes to manage the condition on their own. A healthy lifestyle full of regular exercise has proven to be the silver bullet to dealing with it, regardless of age.
Here on Balanced Habits we have spoken about the importance of losing weight to maintain a healthy body. For people dealing with diabetes this is even more crucial as obesity is one of the top causes of the condition. Follow our
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