It certainly can’t hurt! Use this plan from the American Diabetes Association to get started!
For nearly 26 million Americans, diabetes is a fact of life. The disease can be challenging to manage at times, but it doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent diabetic complications.
Experts have long proclaimed the benefits of regular physical exercise for diabetics. The Diabetes Prevention Program, a recent government research study, showed that exercise can even prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Other recent studies show that exercise in diabetics can improve blood pressure, decrease bad cholesterol, and improve the body’s ability to use insulin.
The American Diabetes Association recommends a three-pronged approach to physical activity. In total, diabetic patients should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of activity each week.
1. Aerobic Exercises
Get your heart pumping! This could include walking, gardening, riding a bike, or anything else that gets your heart rate up. If you’re new to exercise, aim for 10 minutes of activity each day and gradually increase to 30 minutes, five days a week.
2. Strength Training
Taking part in a few 20-minute sessions of weight lifting each week can reduce the amount of insulin you need and improve your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. You don’t need to reach bodybuilder status to see positive outcomes. Start with light resistance on free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines. You can slowly progress to 60-minute sessions and heavier weights.
3. Flexibility Exercises
Stretching exercises will keep your joints healthy and reduce your risk of injury. Consider gently stretching for five or ten minutes before and after your workouts. Make sure to hit major muscle groups in the arms, legs, and back.
Always talk with your doctor before beginning a new fitness routine. If you have any diabetic complications, you may need a modified approach to exercise.