Being Active with Diabetes

Woman Hands Testing High Blood SugarRegular physical activity is one important component of healthy living and diabetes management. Being active helps reduce your blood glucose, along with other benefits such as relieving stress, increasing energy and strength, and lowering your risk for stroke and heart disease.

Diabetes management experts in Provo note that almost any type of physical activity is beneficial, but it is best to pick a routine that you enjoy. This is to help you keep motivated and stick to the exercise habit. You can do it with friends and family or find an exercise buddy to achieve better results while also having fun.

Here are the four main types of physical activities that provide health benefits:

1. Aerobic. This keeps your start strong and healthy. It is best to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercises, most days of the week. Good examples include walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, and tennis.

2. Stretching. This prevents stiffness by helping you stay flexible. Apart from basic stretches, you can also get involved in yoga or Pilates.

3. Strength training. This is for building and maintaining muscles. Lifting weight, climbing stairs, using resistance bands, and calisthenics (sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups) are some examples of strength training.

4. Balance exercise. This helps you keep steady on your feet. Examples include standing on one foot or from a sitting position and walking sideways or backwards.

Effect on your blood glucose

The way physical activity can affect your blood glucose will depend on different factors. If you take diabetes medication, there are few things you can do to avoid hypoglycemia or low blood glucose. Check your blood glucose before starting and if it is below 100 mg/dl, drink a glass of juice or milk or eat some fruit. Check it again after your routine to find out how your glucose level changes when you engage in physical activity.

If you haven’t been active for a long time, be sure to start slowly and choose low-intensity activities. Walking is one good example, as well as swimming or using a stationary bike. If you have diabetes complications or other illnesses, consult your doctor before increasing your physical activity.