Diabetes is an unpredictable disease. It can happen to anyone. There are no specific factors for diabetes, although overweight and family history of the disease is the major risk factor. But the good news is that diabetes is not the end of the world. One can lead a healthy and happy life even with diabetes. All you have to do is to adhere to a healthy life style.
Healthy food and regular exercises are key factors of this healthy life style. Although we may be able to stick to a healthy diet, we may not be able to adjust to regular workouts. However, exercises should not be neglected. It is very important in maintaining your weight as well as your blood sugar levels.
Exercise doesn’t mean that you should suddenly begin any hardcore work out. Start by simple and easy work outs and continue it regularly. Here are some easy exercise tips for diabetes patients.
Walking is one of the most effective as well as relaxing exercise for your body. All you need is a pair of shoes which will fit your foot. Walking not only is an exercise to your body but it will also provide relaxation to your mind. There are not many other exercises which are as pleasurable as walking. Start with short distances for short durations and gradually increase the duration distance of your walking routine. If possible walk with a companion and soon walking will feel like a hobby rather than exercise.
Tai Chi is a form of exercise that has been continuing for centuries. It is a serious of movements performed in a slow and relaxed manner for duration of about 30 minutes. Tai Chi is considered ideal for people with diabetes as it provides fitness as well as stress reduction. It also improves balance and may reduce nerve damage, which is a common diabetic complication.
Weight training is important not just for people with diabetes, but everyone. It helps in building muscle mass, which is important for those with type 2 diabetes, as muscle mass is important in maintaining blood sugar level. While weight training, it Is better to do it in three or four sets rather than for a continuous stretch of time. Also it is very important not to overdo the work out and try to lift weight which is very stressful to you.
Yoga is also an excellent exercise routine whose benefits are multifold. It helps in lowering body fat, fighting insulin resistance and improves nerve function. Another great benefit from yoga is that it is a great stress reducer. Lowering your stress is very important as blood sugar levels goes up with your stress levels. The greatest advantage of yoga is that it doesn’t wear you down, so that you can do it as often as you like.
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Swimming is an excellent exercise for people with type 2 diabetes as it doesn’t put any pressure on your joints. It stretches and relaxes your body. It also improves cholesterol levels, burns calories and lowers stress levels. Swimming also puts less pressure on your feet unlike other exercises like walking or jogging. This is very beneficial as diabetes often reduces blood flow to the small blood vessels of your extremities and you might lose the sensation on your feet as a result.
Swim at least three times a week for minimum duration of ten minutes and gradually increase the length of the work out. While going for a swim, make sure to have a snack and monitor blood sugars.
Here are some safety tips for exercising.
- Check your blood sugar before and after exercise until you are aware of how your body responds to exercise.
- Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, make sure your blood sugar is less than 250 mg/dl before exercising. For people with Type 1 diabetes, exercising with a blood sugar higher than 250 mg/dl may cause ketoacidosis, which can be a life threatening condition resulting from a lack of insulin in the blood.
- Do a five-minute warm-up before and a five-minute cool down after exercising.
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration.
- Be prepared for any episodes of low blood sugar. Have something available that can bring sugar levels up, such as hard candy, glucose tablets or 4 oz. of juice.
- Wear a medical alert ID band. If an emergency occurs, EMS will know how to treat you properly.
- Always carry a cell phone.
- Avoid exercising in extremely hot or cold temperatures.
- Wear proper shoes and socks to protect your feet.