How To Exercise With Diabetes – If you have diabetes, these fitness ideas can help you fight fat, increase muscle mass, improve balance, and reduce stress—and may even reduce your need for insulin.
Are you getting enough exercise? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is no—and that can be especially true for people with diabetes. In fact, about 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes participate in regular physical activity, according to a June 2016 issue of the World Diabetes Journal. And that’s a shame, because exercise can help increase insulin action and control blood sugar, says Sheri Kohlberg, PhD, founder of the Diabetes Action Academy in Santa Barbara, California.
According to the National Library of Medicine, exercise can help the body fight disease by increasing the activity of the immune system. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, people with chronic illnesses are at greater risk of complications if they become ill. Boosting your immune system with exercise, as well as managing your blood sugar, can help you stay healthy.
Exercise also helps reduce weight and improve balance. This is important because obese people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to the Obesity Action Coalition. Among patients with type 2 diabetes, a body mass index greater than 35 (which falls into the obese category) increases the risk of balance problems and falls, according to a study published in the September-October 2015 issue of Obesity Research and Clinical Practice.
. “I recommend that everyone with diabetes over 40 include at least two to three days of balance exercise each week,” says Dr. Kohlberg. “This can be as simple as doing a single-leg balance exercise, or as complex as tai chi exercises. Lower-body and core resistance exercises also double as balance training.”
People with type 2 diabetes should complete 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. HHS also recommends twice-weekly resistance exercise can help with weight loss by reducing high blood pressure, and protect against heart disease by lowering cholesterol and hemoglobin A1C levels, which are indicators of three-month blood sugar. levels. .
Here are six great exercises you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Check with your health care team before beginning any exercise regimen, and go slow at first. Over time, you can increase the length and intensity of your routine.
If you don’t have an exercise habit, start by walking. “It’s easy for people to walk,” Kohlberg says, “as long as you have good shoes and somewhere to go. Walking is probably one of the most prescribed activities for people with type 2 diabetes.” Harvard T.H. According to the Chan School of Health, brisk walking at a pace that raises your heart rate is considered moderate-intensity exercise. Walking at a brisk clip for 30 minutes a day five days a week will help you reach your recommended goal. 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition; According to the Mayo Clinic, participants go through a series of movements performed in a slow and relaxed manner. A meta-analysis of 14 studies was published in July 2018 in the Journal of Diabetes Research
They concluded that tai chi is an effective way to manage blood glucose and A1C levels for people with type 2 diabetes. Tai chi is ideal for diabetics as it promotes fitness and stress reduction.
Tai chi can also improve balance and reduce nerve damage, or neuropathy, a common complication among people with diabetes whose blood sugar isn’t well controlled — the benefit of the latter “has yet to be proven,” Kohlberg says. . exercise did not cure PN but improved balance, flexibility and strength).
Still, Kohlberg emphasizes that working on balance every day is an important component of staying fit and living well and independently as you age. “If you don’t do tai chi, incorporate other balance exercises into your weekly routine to reduce your risk of falling,” Kohlberg says.
“I can’t say enough about the benefits of weight training, not just for people with diabetes, but for everyone,” Kohlberg says. Weight training builds muscle mass, which is important for people with type 2 diabetes. “If you lose muscle mass, it’s harder for you to maintain blood sugar,” he says.
Plan resistance training or weight training at least twice a week as part of your diabetes management plan, recommends HHS. Regardless of your experience, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), you can safely add exercise to your routine. This includes exercises with heavy weights, machines or bands; ACSM recommends doing two to three sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise.
Mom Says: Like tai chi, research shows that yoga can help reduce stress and manage the condition if you have diabetes, according to a review published in the September 2018 issue of Endocrinology and Metabolism. “When stress levels are higher, blood sugar levels also increase,” Kohlberg says.
One of the advantages of yoga as an exercise is that you can do it however you want. “It’s more fun,” he says. A study published in March 2017 in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health concluded that exercise may help reduce symptoms of depression in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Swimming is another aerobic exercise – and ideal for people with type 2 diabetes because it doesn’t stress your joints. “Being hydrated is less stressful than if you’re jogging or running,” Kohlberg says. According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes can cause foot complications, including neuropathy. Neuropathy can cause loss of sensation in the feet, so you can buy water shoes to protect your feet in the pool.
Cycling is also a form of aerobic exercise, says the HHS, which makes your heart stronger and your lungs work better, and it’s calorie-dense to boot. Walking a few times a week with an occasional mode of transportation has been found to reduce obesity, high blood pressure and triglyceride levels, according to research published in the March 2018 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.
You don’t even have to leave your home to cycle: a stationary bike can help because you can do it indoors regardless of the weather.
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For people with diabetes, or almost any other disease, the benefits of exercise cannot be overstated. Exercise helps control weight, lowers blood pressure, lowers LDL cholesterol and harmful triglycerides, raises HDL cholesterol, strengthens muscles and bones, reduces anxiety, and improves your overall well-being. For people with diabetes, there are additional benefits: exercise lowers blood glucose levels and increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
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