Exercise is the cornerstone to living a healthy lifestyle, but it’s especially important for diabetics. Exercise can lower your glucose levels by improving how effectively your cells use insulin. It can also put a smile on that face! When you exercise it releases endorphins in the brain that improve your mood.
If you’ve never gotten into fitness before, the idea of exercising can be intimidating. Some people don’t know when or where to start. With the added complications of diabetes, some people are afraid to start certain exercises.
To help start your journey to fitness, we have found five exercises that you can do almost anywhere and are great for diabetics. Before you begin any exercises, clear it with your doctor.
Walking is a great way to get moving. You can walk around town, in a park, or even in your house. If it’s too hot or cold to walk outside, try walking on a treadmill while you watch your favorite TV show. Walking is a simple way to get moving and lower your glucose levels.
2. Tai Chi
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise that focuses on combining deep breathing and controlled movements. The slow and steady movement makes tai chi a great activity for beginners. If you have problems standing, it can be done in a chair. Tai chi will get your heart rate up without leaving your gasping for air.
Several studies have shown the benefit of tai chi for diabetics. Bejing University completed a study in 2005 showed that tai chi decreased the blood glucose levels in patients by 58% after one week.
Tai chi can be performed almost anywhere with no equipment. You can take tai chi classes with a group, or you can find videos on YouTube and exercise alone.
Originating in India, yoga has several benefits for diabetics. Not only does it help lower your glucose, but it can also reduce stress, improve flexibility, and improve balance.
Most local gyms or YMCAs offer beginner to advanced yoga classes. If you don’t have any close to you, there are videos and tutorials on the Internet to get you started. When practicing yoga, remember that you should never do a pose that is causing you pain.
It’s time to dust off those dancing shoes! Taking a dancing class or doing dance routines helps you stay physically and mentally sharp. Many diabetics choose to dance for their exercise because it’s fun. There are several different types of dance classes from you to pick from. Maybe you prefer Zumba, line dancing, or hip-hop. It doesn’t matter which style you choose as long as you’re dancing.
Swimming is one of the most beneficial exercises on our list. If you have access to a place to swim, we recommend you take advantage of it.
Swimming offers a full-body exercise and doesn’t have the added pressure on your joints like most exercises. Swimming also doesn’t add any extra force on your feet. Because of its high intensity, swimming burns a lot of calories, which can help you lose or maintain weight.