Do I exercise today? Why do I need to exercise? I am feeling tired and I don’t have the time to exercise, so? I take the bus/train to work, isn’t that enough exercise?
The questions could go on for the entire page. The point is too many of us do not want to exercise and we have become experts at making excuses to stay put in our cars, on our chairs, and in our beds, wasting away slowly and “dying” before we are pronounced dead. Are you thinking about exercising now? Are you a bit scared by what I said? Are you asking me “what are the benefits of exercise?
The Benefits of Exercise
Exercise is all-round good for us. This cannot be disputed. We were created to move. Diabetes and exercise are indeed friends. We can control diabetes with our diet as well as an exercise program. I know this is difficult for a lot of us to do, but it does not have to be long or difficult, it just needs to be on a regular basis.
Something happens to our cells when we exercise. Our cells respond more to insulin when we exercise. Glucose in the blood is also removed by our cells. This happens when a person with diabetes exercises. Are you still asking, “what are the benefits of exercise?”
Remember, the aim is to be on less medication and get our readings as close as possible to the normal range, until….We must continue to ask, “what are the benefits of exercise?” We must then take the necessary action now. The end result is amazing!
Lower glucose reading and a host of bonuses:
- Stronger muscles
- Lower cholesterol
- Blood pressure will be lowered
- Joints become more flexible
- Better sleep
- Improves circulation and gives us a stronger heart
- Boost our energy
- Burns calories, so you may lose weight
- Decreases the risk of a heart disease
- Results in less stress, clearer minds and better mental health in general.
I do hope you are on board by now. But let me share some more with you. I am only encouraging moderate exercise at this point. If persons with diabetes make the lifestyle change to do moderate exercise for an extended period of time (for life, smile), our blood sugar decreases because of the demand of the muscle to use up the glucose for energy.
Sneak It In
How can you say no to 30 minutes at home? It could be a walk down the road to see a friend. It could mean parking 20 minutes from your destination and walk to and fro. Just make sure your car is in a safe place. It could include using the restroom at the end of the building.
There are many ways we can sneak the movements into our new lifestyle. Ten (10) minutes on an exercise bicycle will make a world of difference to your thigh, calf, and your heart.
Exercise and Blood Sugar
It is important that you bear in mind that exercise will lower your blood sugar. Thirty (30) minutes of walking for 4 days a week will make a significant difference in how you feel and function. Your energy will increase and you will be happier. As you continue to make this a habit, just 30 minutes of walking per day, then your glucose reading is lower and your cholesterol too.
Your muscles will “keep a victory dance” as they will be stronger and able to do more in their drive to keep you healthy and flexible. The treadmill can be a good place to start your exercise routine. You can use it anytime and in the comfort of your home. You can also go at your own pace and build on that as you get stronger.
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Bit by Bit, it all Adds up
Here is the good news, you are not forced to do 30 minutes all at once. If you are just starting out and this is difficult for you to do, go ahead and do 10 minutes first and then 2 more 10 minutes for the day. Do what you can safely do without feeling too stressed and hurting yourself in the long run.
Diabetes did not happen overnight and you will not be able to fix it overnight either. Let’s lay one block at a time and get it done for the rest of our lives. Remember, it is a lifestyle change that I am pursuing and encouraging you to do the same.
Do you need a friend or family member to encourage you and motivate you on this journey? Ask them to help. Explain the benefits both of you will get in the end. It is a win, win situation as they will benefit as well. Go ahead, ask.
Ok, so you prefer to go alone? I understand, but just be safe. Do not “blast” the music in your ear, as you need to be aware of your surroundings. It makes no sense to lower your glucose reading, and then to be lowered in a grave before you are able to enjoy the benefits of being diabetic free. Just be safe, even when you have company.
Decide when you are going for a walk and for how long. Write this on a pretty piece of paper and make it obvious to see. Take out your clothes from the night before and place them in an obvious place. This will make it easier for you to remember and it will be less to do in the morning. It helps in taking away your “I don’t have the time” excuse.
Setting goals give us that extra push and purpose. Go for it! You can do it.
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