Regular exercise is especially important for a diabetic. Exercise helps control the amount of sugar in the blood and increases levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. It also burns excess calories and fat to help achieve optimal weight and significantly affects how the body utilizes insulin. Most diabetics don’t believe that performing exercises regularly will help control blood sugar levels, and either decrease the severity or reduce the long-term complications of diabetes. Understanding the relationships between food, diabetes medication, and activity levels is essential to controlling blood sugar levels. Each interacts with the others. As a diabetic, you must find a balance for your individual situation. Not all types of exercises can be performed by every diabetic. Aerobic exercises are moderate intensity and a good place for a diabetic to begin. Such exercises increase the heart rate, work on muscles, and improve the breathing capacity of the lungs. Aerobic exercises are usually performed 30 minutes to an hour for five days a week. You burn energy when exercising – your energy source being the excess glucose in your blood. The more glucose you use, the lower your glucose levels. Although your goal is low glucose levels, exercise can cause your blood sugar to drop too low. Do some physical activity each day. If you are relatively inactive, start with about 10 minutes of exercise. Add more time, or increase the frequency up to three times a day. In other words, a total of 30 minutes a day will work wonders for the body. Formal exercises you can choose from:
- Swim or do water aerobic exercises.
- Ride your bicycle outside or a stationary bicycle indoors. The advantage of a stationary bicycle is your exercise routine is independent of the weather.
- Take a brisk walk. This exercise can take place outside or inside. Outside might include walking around one or more blocks, following a path at a local park, or using a track at a school. For indoors, you can walk up and down stairs, walk a path from one room to another and back and forth, or walk on a treadmill.
- Vacuuming. This mixes walking with stretching of leg, arm and back muscles.
- Go ice-skating or roller-skating.
- Go dancing.
- Jog or play tennis.
Measuring your blood sugar level before and after your exercise routine can be a real motivator. Diabetics will commonly see a 20 percent decrease in their blood sugar levels after exercising. Remember, any activity will burn calories, and increase your energy level. Some aerobic activities You can do during the day include walking instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking down every aisle of the grocery store, or parking the car at the far end of the shopping center lot and walking to the store. I am on the ’90 Day Challenge” check it out at www.partnerwithdrmike.com