Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, the first thing you here from your doctor is to “get some exercise”. Pretty soon everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and pointing out to you just how important it is to “get some exercise”. I know, I suffer Type 2 diabetes, but I have learnt how to control the disease, and getting exercise is an important part of that control. At first you think how can I possibly exercise, it was probably this mindset, and lack of exercise, that brought on the disease. You are probably well overweight, a major contributor to the disease, and the feelings of apprehension set in, how can I possibly exercise.
While you may be thinking “that’s easier said than done”, you may be surprised to learn that exercise isn’t necessarily about “no pain – no gain”. Regular physical activity can become an enjoyable part of your day with long term benefits to your diabetes and your overall health. You will even lose weight. It is as important to a diabetic as is giving up smoking. Regular physical activity is certainly worth the effort with the following benefits.
For the person with diabetes
Improves the body’s response to insulin.
Can therefore lower glucose levels.
Lowers blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels.
Reduces the risk of heart disease.
Other benefits and positives
Reduces stress and tension.
Increases energy levels
Strengthens bone structure.
Improves mental outlook.
Increases fitness levels.
Improves sleeping habits
It is recommended that you aim to spend at least 30 minutes a day doing some form of moderate intensity physical activity. Moderate intensity physical activity means you will notice your heart rate increase, and you may have a light sweat. If you are not breathing more quickly than usual, it is not helping. If on the other hand you are gasping and unable to talk, you are overdoing it. If you are trying to lose weight, 30 minutes may not be enough, but it is an excellent place to start. Also, read everything you can on the subject of diabetes information and I can suggest http://www.health4diabetes.com is a great resource.
My form of activity was walking and playing tennis and golf. Initially I started on flat walks of 25 – 30 minutes, and then once fit boosted it to about 45 minutes walking more quickly, and “took to the hills”. I am lucky to have both flat and hill sectors in my neighbourhood. I have lost 8 Kg (17.5lb), feel fit and strong, and currently have the diabetes under control. I know I can’t cure the disease, but I can live with it and not have to suffer.