The need for exercise is very well known to everyone. Starting your day by exercising makes it fresh and energetic. Exercise has many benefits for a normal person, but these benefits can prove to be life-saving if you are a person afflicted with diabetes.
Why Should I Exercise if I Have Diabetes?
Regular exercise allows the body to function better, the healing and cleaning processes of the body is enhanced when one exercise. The relation between stress and blood sugar is a very common knowledge. Your blood sugar level has a tendency to fluctuate with stress levels. There are many exercises that you can do to ensure that your blood sugar levels remain normal.
It is very important for a person with diabetes to keep his/her blood glucose levels in check. Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet can keep your body away from long-term complications that can be caused due to diabetes such as kidney or nerve malfunction.
What Type of Exercises Helps Diabetes?
Exercise does not always have to mean that you rigorously burn calories at a gym. You can opt from a wide range of exercise options ranging from yoga to walking. Exercises keep your metabolism high making sure that all excess amount of sugar and fat are regularly removed from the body. Exercise can be very beneficial for people suffering from chronic illnesses such as type 1 or 2 diabetes.
Here are some useful exercises that require just 15 minutes of your time daily and yet manages to keep you healthy and keep your blood glucose levels in check.
Regular practice of yoga keeps your stress levels in check, lower stress levels naturally means lesser complication to your body. Reduced stress levels ensure that your body does not get agitated and helps keep a clean and sharp mind.
Yoga can be practised at no expense, you just need to ensure that you follow the correct methods from a trusted source. Yoga has proven effects on reducing body fat, fighting insulin resistance and improving the nerve functions. These are very helpful to people suffering from diabetes.
A daily dose of 15 minutes yoga can make you feel like you do not suffer from diabetes in the long run. Apart from the various health benefits, yoga helps you maintain a healthy mind, allowing you to de-stress and keep a calm mind in challenging situations. A 15 minutes yoga session involving the basic positions such as Padmasana, Vajrasana, Surya Namaskara, and Shavasana can prove very helpful for your condition.
Related Read: 5 Yoga Poses for Diabetes
Walking is one of the easiest methods of exercise for people with diabetes. It requires minimum effort and its benefits are manifold. Walking does not require much gear or a setting. All you need is a pair of shoe and the mind to keep walking somewhere.
Walking with a minimum speed can give sufficient cardiac exercise to your heart and reduce cholesterol and improve overall body functions. If you feel that walking alone is boring, you can always choose to get someone to walk with you. If not connect to music and enjoy a beautiful walk with nature all by yourself.
Apart from exercising your legs walking keeps an ideal blood flow alive by making sure there is correct flow to all parts of the body. It does wonder in helping to maintain optimal blood glucose levels and keeping your diabetes in check. It is not advisable for people with diabetes to go more than 3 days without any exercise.
3. Tai Chi:
Tai Chi is a century old practice consisting of a series of slow movements carried out in an orderly fashion. There are some studies that prove that the introduction of Tai-Chi to your lifestyle can help in reducing stress by a sizeable amount. Tai Chi is basically a defence training in China that is accompanied by a wide range of health benefits.
Tai Chi has proven results in improving body balance and improving nerve function. These factors make Tai Chi-an ideal exercise for people suffering from diabetes. Tai Chi has a wide range of benefits that include improving some of the basic body functions. Some of the widely known benefits of Tai Chi are :
- Overall improvement in mood with less depression and other mental problems such as stress and anxiety.
- Improved aerobic and muscle capacity.
- Increased stamina and energy levels.
- Improvement in agility, balance and flexibility.
- Great improvement to cardiac health.
- Lowers the blood pressure.
Since people suffering from diabetes has a higher probability to develop nerve malfunctions, practising Tai Chi can be very helpful to them. Tai Chi’s slow practice method might take a bit longer than 15 minutes, but the benefits associated with this exercise for diabetes makes it worth the effort.
Tai Chi does not require vigorous physical activity and hence is a highly advisable exercise to the elderly suffering from diabetes.
4. Weight Training:
Weight training helps you keep an ideal muscle mass that can be very helpful in regulating blood glucose levels for diabetes patients. Weight training is highly recommended to diabetes patients in America as obesity is one of the major trouble people with diabetes face.
Weight training allows your muscle mass to undergo a strenuous process of regeneration, making sure that the excess glucose in your body is used up, and thereby regulating the glucose levels.
Resistance exercise involving weight training is advised at least 2 times a week for diabetes patients. Losing muscle mass can prove fatal to people with diabetes as the blood glucose increases with the loss of muscle mass.
While going for weight training please ensure that you have a qualified professional capable of providing the correct instruction keeping your diabetic condition in mind. Weight training combined with a balanced diet can be highly advantageous in fighting diabetes.
5. Stationary Bicycling:
Stationary bicycling helps in making sure that your legs get sufficient exercise. It’s very important for diabetes patients to keep good and healthy feet. The high cardiac burnout that stationary cycle offers will help you maintain a healthy blood glucose level.
Stationary bicycling comes with the benefit of being indoors and yet provides almost the same amount of calorie burn compared to cycling outdoors. You don’t have to worry about the weather or a flat tire while using your stationary bicycle.
Stationary cycling is a very effective aerobic exercise that gives you a healthy heart, and better functioning lungs. Make sure you follow the instruction manual before you try your stationary cycle in a gym or at home.
Apart from the above-mentioned exercises, there are many other forms of exercises that comes in the form of games or activities that can be highly beneficial for people suffering from diabetes. Leisure activities such as swimming or jogging are also considered very effective exercises for patients with diabetes.
If regular exercises bore you, you can always choose games such as basketball with your friends so that there is the activity that is required to keep a healthy blood glucose level in diabetes patients. If you are going to engage in such games, always make sure that you are geared up and do not suffer any bruises since healing is comparatively harder with diabetes.
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Lack of Exercising Can Be as Risky as Having Diabetes and Smoking
– 28th Nov 2018
If you don’t have the practice of exercising, you may be in a lot of trouble as this can be worse than having diabetes and smoking. According to a recent study by the Cleveland Clinic, 1,22,000 patients took part in the treadmill running test conducted by the study.
The study stated that patients who participated in this test had better cardiorespiratory fitness and lived longer. But the people who do not exercise have higher risks when compared to that of those who had diabetes and smokers.
Also, there are many other studies that have also proven that regular exercising is good for all, but the ugly truth behind this is that most people worldwide do not get enough time to practice nor are they interested in doing so.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) found that 1.4 billion people worldwide were not interested in regular exercising and this puts them to a bigger risk of developing diabetes. You need to keep in mind that exercising at least for two days might help you better function. So, make it a point to exercise when you’re free.
In another study by the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center found that exercising at least two or three times a week could bring you much health benefits and minimizing stiffening in the middle of your arteries.