Eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise is important for everyone, but if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it’s absolutely vital. Eating a healthy diet will help control the amount of sugar your body has to process, but physical activity helps to burn up excess glucose and prevent it from staying in your bloodstream.
If you’re diabetic then these 5 tips will help you build the exercise you need into your lifestyle:
1. If you’re new to diabetes or exercise, start slowly.
When you’re newly diagnosed with diabetes, it can be a real wake-up call to take your health seriously, but don’t panic and start trying to complete marathons. Because diabetes affects your blood-sugar levels, you need to take particular care not to under, or, overdo exercise to protect yourself from developing the symptoms of hypoglycaemia. Ease your way into an exercise regime that you enjoy, can manage and can stick to.
2. Get Moving!
Any time you’re active, your body will burn glucose and stabilise your blood sugar levels. Everything counts including jobs around the house like vacuuming or mowing the lawn, but don’t rely on them to be sufficient. Low impact exercise like this won’t raise your heart level enough to make a real difference. Adults should aim to complete 2.5 hours of moderate to intense exercise every week in bursts of 30-60 minute intervals. Don’t worry if that’s too much at this point. Make a commitment to doing something simple like walking. Using a pedometer will help you keep track of how much you move and how many calories you burn, and also help you measure your fitness levels now and set new, more challenging goals as you progress.
3. Workout with a friend
Squeezing a new exercise regime into your daily routine can feel like a real challenge, but when you’re diabetic, sticking to it is really important. Improve your chances of long-term success by working out with a friend. Try doing something fun: take an exercise class once or twice a week, go on walks together or train for a charity run. By encouraging each other you’re far more likely to keep focussed and if you don’t know anyone who could workout with you, don’t worry, you’ll quickly find a group of exercise buddies at Curves.
4. Test your blood sugar frequently
This is a good habit for anyone with diabetes to form, but seeing how exercise can reduce your sugar levels can be a real motivator too; while waiting to see the slimming and toning results of your workouts on the outside, you will know that it’s already benefiting you on the inside.
5. Ask for help
Always speak to your diabetic clinician before changing your diet or exercise habits and then come and speak to us.
Disclaimer: this post is brought to you by Curves. Curves works with people who need to lose weight or become more active to tackle a variety of health problems. You can tell them about your diabetes, and they’ll help you develop a diet and exercise program that really works for you. PS: I do not have diabetes.