Having diabetes, it is vital we recognize the importance of exercise for diabetics. Daily physical activity is essential, to help manage your blood glucose levels. It will also help to burn off those extra carbs and fat in the blood, from that sneaky dessert you shouldn’t have had last night, or that extra glass of wine with dinner! Let’s face it, being a diabetic is really tough at times, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. With regular exercise, as well as making you feel great, you’ll build muscle and overall it will improve how your insulin performs.
Exercise for diabetics using a pedometer.
So to get started, one of the simplist methods to monitor just how active you are in an average day, is to get yourself a step counter – known as a pedometer.
This is just a simple little low cost device that can clip easily onto your belt, or around your waistline. It’s recommended that 10’000 steps per day is a good start. If you find this a little challenging in the beginning, just do what is manageable and increase just a little every day.
Easy ways to increase this, is to make sure you start clocking the steps right from the moment you get out of bed in the mornings, all the steps count. I find that if you’re actually wearing a pedometer, you tend to make sure you increase your activity. Try these few suggestions, I find work for me:
– When parking at the shopping centre, don’t just park at the closest car park to the stores you wish to visit. Also, park the furthest away from the entrance door (there are normally more spaces too!)
– When doing the school drop offs, I often park a kilometre or two away (depending on how many steps I’ve already done for that day!) It’s great exercise for the kids as well.
– Instead of jumping into the car to run up to the corner store, put on your joggers and walk there.
– Even small things like getting the mail from the mail box – don’t stop when you’re driving in the drive in your car, park the car and then walk back out to the mail box. You might have a nice steep driveway like mine, which also gets the heart pumping even more!
For those of you who want a little more of a challenge, it’s really not that difficult to increase that recommended 10’000 steps, to 15’000 a day.
If you are someone who takes public transport to work, get off the train or bus a little early and walk the rest of the way.
Take the stairs in your building instead of the escalator or lift.
Go for a walk through the park at lunch time instead of sitting and flicking through that magazine. Believe me, you’ll feel better for it!
Exercise for diabetics – a few safety thoughts!
You know that feeling you get when starting out on a new fitness program, you feel alive – you’ve got a fresh injection of endorphins running through your veins! Well it’s important to make sure you don’t overdo it to start and get a thorough check up with your doctor first.
– I repeat, don’t overdo it, start out slowly and gradually build up doing a little more every day.
– Make sure you wear comfortable clothing, especially correctly fitting shoes is essential.
– Make sure you keep well hydrated, drinking ample amounts of water
– Try and exercise in the cooler parts of the days, either early in the mornings or after work to prevent dehydration
– Make sure you check your blood glucose levels both before and after you exercise.
– If at any time you get short of breath or experience and chest pain or dizziness at all, make certain that you visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Exercise for diabetics is a great start, to living a better life and keeping those blood glucose levels under control.