Regular exercise is encouraged for people with diabetes not only for diabetes control but also to prevent cardiovascular complications. Muscle movement will take up more sugar and reduce blood sugar levels.
The Benefits of exercising: In patients with type 2 diabetes, exercise may improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose levels. Many studies have shown that exercise of moderate intensity 3-4 times a week for 30-60minutes a session can dramatically improve carbohydrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Epidemiological studies have also proven that watching TV 2 hours a day is associated with a 14% increase in diabetes risk. Standing and walking around the house for 2 hours a day is associated with a 12% reduction of risk of diabetes. 1 hour a day of brisk walking is well established to reduce the risk by 34%. Regular physical activity along with healthy eating patterns and weight control can reduce incidence of diabetes by 60%.
Having a walking plan is a good start to physical activity. Plan your walk starting with 2 days per week for 10 minutes and gradually increase by 5 minutes each time you walk. Increase to 3-4 times a week, finally achieving the goal of walking a minimum of 30 minutes a day for 4 days of the week.
Some tips for keeping physically active.
- Increase physical activity during the day. Include more in the activities that you may already be involved with, such as gardening, walking the dog, playing golf etc. Limit computer use for recreation and watching TV to less than 2 hour a day.
- Begin regular aerobic exercises. Do activities like brisk walking, swimming, or jogging for at least 10 minutes every second day, with the intention of increasing activity by 5 minutes a session. Continue to increase aerobic activities until you reach 150 minutes a week total.
- Start regular resistance exercise with the help of a diabetes educator or a professional trainer to build up muscle strength using weight machines and free weights. Carry out these exercises at light to moderate intensity 10-15 times each exercise. Try completing 8-10 different exercises in a session.
Physical activity will benefit you by lowering blood glucose level within 1 hour. It will also improve mood, sleep patterns, and energy levels. Besides these, it will also improve insulin sensitivity in your body, reduce body weight, and lower your risk of heart attack, stroke and sudden death.
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