Diabetes & Physical Activity

Did you know that physical activity is free medicine for your body? That’s right physical activity has many benefits including lowering blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Physical activity also plays an important role in lowering stress and anxiety as well as boosting mood. Focus on all the places you can increase your physical activity including work, home and when you are out.

Here are a few tips for creating a more active lifestyle:

  • Focus on activities that you enjoy. The gym is not the only way to stay physically active. Walking the dog, gardening, and cleaning your house all count as physical activity. Set aside time each day to incorporate movement that you enjoy. The goal for individuals with diabetes should be about 150 minutes per week of physical activity or 30 minutes, 5 days per week.
  • Start slow, even 5-10 minutes daily is better than nothing at all. It can be discouraging if you overexert yourself when you haven’t been regularly active. To reduce your risk of injury and ensure that you will continue with your new program start slow. Create a new goal to increase your duration (time) each week until you reach 30-60 minutes.
  • Check your blood glucose before and after exercise especially if you plan to exercise for a longer period of time. You might also want to consider bringing glucose tablets with you to your exercise session in case your blood glucose drops too low (hypoglycemia). Remember you typically need to start with eating at least 4 glucose tablets which provides you with 15 grams of carbohydrate to treat hypoglycemia.
  • Find a friend or family member to serve as your exercise buddy and support system. Having a hard time fitting physical activity into your schedule? Try finding fun ways to spend time with family and friends that also incorporate physical activity. Walking, swimming, golfing and dancing are all great options to spend time with others while also staying active.
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