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Diabetics 365 – Diabetics, Time to Get Moving

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.

1. Walking
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.

3. Yoga
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.

4. Dancing
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.

5. Swimming
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.

Safety Tips

Once again, talk to your doctor before you begin any type of exercise program. After you have talked to your doctor, there are a few things to remember when you are going to exercise:

  • Keep a healthy snack nearby
  • Check your glucose levels before and after
  • Keep your insulin pump close
  • Keep a cell phone close to you
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear a medical I.D. bracelet
  • Wear comfy shoes (unless your swimming)

The Other Tips

It isn’t always easy to make yourself go exercise. Try finding a workout buddy to help keep you going. Having a friend can also make your workout more enjoyable.

Start slow. If you can’t do 30 minutes of continuous exercise, that’s fine. Break up your workout into smaller segments. Try 3 segments of 10 minutes instead. You can slowly build up to the full 30 minutes.

Hopefully, these five workouts can get your moving while having fun. Try doing each one to find out what you enjoy best. The best advice we can give is to “get out there and go”….after checking with your doctor.

Diabetics 365 – Too Much Work to Workout

“If you think of exercise as a 60-minute commitment three times a week at the gym, you’re missing the point completely. If you think that going on a diet has something to do with nutrition, you don’t see the forest through the trees. It is a lifestyle. I know it sounds cliché, but you have to find things you love to do.” – Brett Hoebel

Exercise is important to anyone’s healthy lifestyle, but it’s essential for a diabetic. Luckily you don’t have to spend hours in the gym or run a marathon every weekend to be in shape. There are a lot of ways that you can exercise within the comfort of your own home or even in your office.

With just 30 minutes of exercise a day you can lower cholesterol, lose weight, and reduce the risk of several diseases. Exercise can improve your mood, boost your energy levels, and improve your sleep habits. With all these benefits, why not exercise?

One of the main reasons that most people avoid exercise is “a lack of time.” Between a job, errands, kids, friends, cooking, and everything else, most of us don’t have time to head to the gym. You don’t need a room full of machines and heavy weights to be active and healthy. Here are a few ways to exercise with a busy life:

  • Bodyweight exercises – these exercises require nothing more than your own body. Things like pushups, sit-ups, lunges, etc. These types of workouts are great because you can do them anytime and anywhere. You can make it a goal to do one set during every commercial break while you are watching TV.
  • Walking/Jogging/Running – these are great activities that require nothing more than a pair of comfortable shoes. They are great ways to begin your health journey. You can explore your neighborhood, local parks, or even just walk on a treadmill while you enjoy your favorite movie. Inviting a friend is a great way to help make those walks more enjoyable and creates accountability. If you are stuck at the office, try walking in place while you wait for that fax to send.
  • Take the stairs – taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a simple way to get your heart pumping. If you have any extra time during the day, you can walk up and down a couple flights of stairs for an excellent cardio and leg workout.
  • Do an exercise at your desk routine – you can still be active while sitting at your desk. There are a countless number of workout plans and videos that can be done at your desk. These routines include exercises as simple as calf raises or desk pushups. The hardest part of these routines is ignoring the stares from your coworkers if they catch you.
  • Walking meetings – if you have a meeting with a coworker, or you are catching up with a friend, suggest to them that you walk while you talk. You can walk around the parking lot, your office building, or a track. Researchers believe that the benefits of walking meetings go beyond the obvious physical aspect. It is also believed that they help to create more intimate conservations and to reduce the amount of distractions during meetings.

 You should always be cautious when exercising. If you plan on doing any exercise, which is extra strenuous consult your doctor before you begin. You should closely monitor your blood sugar levels before, during, and after any workout. It is always a great idea to have a bottle of water and some type of carb snack in case of emergencies. You should also start slowly when beginning to exercise to see how your body will handle the exertion.

If you do start to feel symptoms of hypoglycemia during an activity, stop immediately and treat yourself as you normally would. These signs should never be ignored. If you have gone for a walk or run, call someone and tell him or her where you are. After 30 minutes if you still feel the symptoms of hypoglycemia, and you don’t think you can walk back to your house or car, ask them to come and give you assistance until you have recovered.

With the many benefits of exercise, do not let a busy schedule keep you from being healthy. There are countless ways that you can cram in a few fun activities into any schedule. Find an exercise that you enjoy doing and go for it. Being happy and healthy is more important than a few funny stares you might get while you run in place at the copier.