Exercise can have surprising benefits for diabetics. Exercise can reduce stress and your blood sugar levels. It may even lower insulin requirements. Also, maintaining your diabetes and having a regular exercise routine can lead to better rates for diabetes life insurance.
People with diabetes need to exercise 150 minutes each week. You do not miss more than two days of exercise per week.
Five exercises for people living with diabetes
These exercises will give you the best results to manage your diabetes and are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Diabetes365.org shares with us 5 great exercises that can benefit people with diabetes.
Walking – This is the most popular form of exercise, and it’s highly recommended for diabetics. It is a great way of increasing your physical activity by walking for 30 minutes five times per week. This 30-minute session can be broken down into 10 minutes sessions, three times per day.
Tai Chi – This Chinese exercise uses slow, fluid movements to relax the body and mind. Tai-Chi sessions can improve blood sugar control. They also report a greater sense of vitality, energy, and mental well-being.
Yoga – An old form of exercise, Yoga uses fluid movements to build strength, flexibility, and balance. It is beneficial for those with diabetes and other chronic conditions. It reduces stress levels and improves nerve function. This leads to a higher level of mental and physical well-being. Yoga may increase blood glucose levels because of increased muscle mass.
Dancing – It is an exciting and fun way for diabetics to increase their physical activity, lose weight, improve flexibility, lower blood glucose, and reduce stress. Mental work required to memorize dance steps and sequences can actually improve brain power and memory. Many people can dance in a chair, which allows them to be supported by a person with limited physical abilities.
Swimming – Swimming is great for those with diabetes. It relaxes and stretches your muscles, and doesn’t place pressure on your joints. Swimming can lower cholesterol, reduce stress, and burn calories. Swimming should be done at least three times per week, for at least ten minutes. Gradually increase the time. Before you go into the pool, inform the lifeguard that you have diabetes.
Talk to your doctor first before beginning an exercise program. Make sure it is appropriate for your type. Start slowly, especially if it has been a while since you were physically active.
These are some other safety tips.
- To get a better understanding of your body’s response to exercise, you should monitor your blood sugar levels before and after exercising.
- No matter if you have Type 1 diabetes or Type 2, make sure that your blood sugar level is below 250 mg/dl before you start exercising. Ketoacidosis is a condition that can lead to death in Type 1 diabetics. It occurs when blood sugar levels exceed 250 mg/dl. Perform a 5-minute warm-up prior to exercising and a 5-minute cooling down after.
- To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water before and during exercise.
- You should be prepared for low blood sugar episodes. You should always have something that can raise sugar levels, such as glucose tablets, hard candy, or 4 ounces of juice.
- You should always wear a medical alert ID bracelet. If you are in an emergency, EMS will be able to help you.
- Always keep a cell phone with you.
- Avoid exercising with extremely high or low temperatures.
- Protect your feet with socks and shoes.
Listen to your body. Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath, or lightheaded. Any unusual symptoms you have to your doctor.