Regular exercise and physical activity are a must for almost everyone, regardless of age, gender, medical history, etc. It helps with weight loss, improves energy levels, uplifts your mood, and so much more.
However, for people with diabetes, exercise is even more crucial for their general well-being. For diabetics, exercise can help lower their blood glucose levels, improve their body’s sensitivity to insulin to counter insulin resistance, improve heart rate and blood pressure levels, and help fight other illnesses.
Moreover, it doesn’t even have to be like a serious workout with squats and planks. A simple brisk walk will do the trick. So, if you have diabetes, check out these seven easy exercises for people with diabetes.
7 Easy Exercises for People with Diabetes
Taking a walk is one of the simplest and easiest ways to get your daily dose of exercising. If you decide to go for a walk outside, you’ll not only get to exercise but also take in fresh air which has its own benefits.
Walking is one of those things which you don’t even have to think much about or plan to do specifically. You can take your dog out for a walk, and it’ll count as exercising for you too. If you’re planning a quick trip to the corner store, leave the car and walk there instead.
If you’re feeling bored at home, go to the nearest park and do a brisk walk. That’s it. Brisk walking for roughly thirty minutes every day is good for raising heart rates and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine.
If it’s too hot to go outside or walking just doesn’t sound like your thing, consider swimming instead. This low impact aerobic exercise is an excellent form of physical activity for people with diabetes. People who have Type 2 diabetes do sometimes have foot complications as well, which might make walking too hard.
Swimming is different, though. Besides the fact that letting yourself go in the water feels pretty amazing, swimming also doesn’t put a lot of pressure on your joints, so it’s great for people with diabetes.
Doing this exercise regularly can significantly help in lowering your cholesterol and burning those extra calories. If you’re not a regular swimmer, make sure you take it slow in the beginning and inform the lifeguard on duty that you’re diabetic.
Who said exercising has to be boring? A good grooving session during the day can also be a way to exercise. Set up a playlist of your favorite songs, grab a partner if you want, and start dancing. Shaking and moving your body like this for 25 to 30 minutes a day, three to four times a week is a great form of physical activity.
Not only does it help burn calories and lower your blood sugar levels, but it can also help relieve stress and uplift your mood, which is equally important. You can use a chair for support if you need to as well.
4. Climbing Stairs
Another easy way to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine is to climb stairs. If you live in a building with several floors or you’ve got stairs in your house, or even if you have to climb a few stairs at work, you have the perfect opportunity to get a quick exercise.
Climbing stairs is a quick way to get your heart beating faster, burn calories, and lower blood sugar levels. You can simply go up and down a flight of stairs for a few minutes a couple of times during the day.
For diabetics, their blood sugar levels sometimes go hand in hand with their stress levels. If you start getting too stressed, it can cause your blood sugar to rise too. Therefore, you need to work on relieving that stress, and what better way to do so than yoga?
Moreover, along with improving your mood, the different movements in yoga can also help build muscle and increase your flexibility. It helps increase your strength and improve balance, as well.
The breathing exercises can improve nerve function, which leads to a better mental condition. You can take classes from an instructor or even do some basic poses at home.
6. Stationary Bike
A good way to get a good workout done at home without going anywhere is through a stationary bike. Regular exercising sessions on a stationary bike has loads of benefits for people with diabetes.
It’s great for training your heart muscles and improving your cardio-respiratory capacity. It burns calories and assists in weight loss, which is quite crucial for some Type 2 diabetes patients.
Since the bike is stationary, it doesn’t hurt your knees or joints either. Rather, it can help strengthen your legs. A 30-minute session on this bike can also release certain hormones that make you feel pretty happy and good about yourself.
7. Tai Chi
If you want a mix of yoga and dancing, Tai Chi is the one for you. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese form of exercise which involves slow and controlled dance-like movements accompanied by deep breathing.
Like yoga, it helps with relieving stress and relaxing your mind and body for better mental well-being. This gentle form of exercising also helps with strength, balance, and mobility. After regular sessions, you’ll notice feeling more fit and energized as well.
Additionally, it’s also quite effective at controlling your blood sugar levels.
All these exercises are pretty simple and straightforward and shouldn’t strain you out too much.
However, just as a precautionary measure, do have a chat with your doctor about your exercise plan. Knowing your specific condition, he might be able to guide regarding whether a certain activity is appropriate for you.
More importantly, if at any time during your exercise or even after it, you start feeling dizzy, short of breath, chest pain, or other similar symptoms, stop immediately. Take a break from your exercise or call a doctor if it seems severe.
If you’re not sure what these symptoms mean for people with diabetes, you should read more about diabetes and make any modifications in your lifestyle that may be necessary.