Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the world right now, unhealthy lifestyle being the major reason for it. People munching on junk food and spending their days sitting on a chair makes them prone to many diseases, type 2 diabetes is one of them.
There are two types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 or juvenile onset diabetes is a rare form of diabetes. In this immune system of the body starts to kill the cells that are responsible for manufacturing insulin. The type 2 or adult onset diabetes is more common, it can develop in anybody at any stage of life. In this, the body fails to properly use the insulin produced in our body and with time pancreas may even stop producing insulin.
Engaging yourself in proper exercise can help you in staying healthy and lead a better life. Let’s take a look at how exercise helps and why is it important for patients with diabetes.
How does exercise help with diabetes?
Increases muscle movements
When you work out, the muscle movement of body increases which helps in enhancing the insulin sensitivity. Insulin is responsible for absorption of blood sugar, which is further used in the production of energy in our body. The increase in insulin sensitivity helps in better absorption of blood sugar.
Helps in stimulating body mechanism
If a person has been diabetic for a while, then the pancreas stop to produce insulin. In such case, regular exercise can help body muscles in absorption and utilization of blood sugar.
Prevents from other diseases
If you are diabetic then you are at a high risk of cardiovascular diseases and blood pressure. Regular exercise helps you to keep these diseases at bay as it helps in strengthening your cardiovascular system.
How much of exercise is needed?
- Two to three hours of exercise in a week, ranging from moderate intensity exercises to high-intensity exercises.
- Two to three resistance exercises daily.
- Exercise at least five days in a week.
Precautions to take before starting the exercise
Talk to your doctor before starting to exercise, especially if you have some complications that arise with diabetes like weak kidney, nerve issues or eye problem.
Hydrate properly before, after and during the work out
During exercise, a large amount of body fluid drains out of your body in form of sweat. This can have a dangerous effect on people having diabetes, it can make you feel light-headed or can lead to a dramatic drop in blood sugar level. So drink ample water before, after and during the work out session.
Most of us underestimate the role our clothes play in work out. Always wear something comfortable during exercise. Wear something that will allow you to breathe but is not too baggy. Choose right shoes and don’t forget to put on socks. Feet related infections are common is people having diabetes, so you need to pay extra attention to your feet.
There is no need of hurrying up when it comes to exercise. If you are new to exercise then take it slow. For the first week, keep it fifteen to twenty minutes a day, increase the duration of work out gradually.
Do warm up and take time to cool down
Do proper warm up before starting with the exercise, it will prevent you from injury. Once you are done exercising don’t sit down, walk slowly till your heartbeat returns to normal.
Check blood sugar level
Always check your blood sugar level before, after and during the exercise. If your blood sugar has dropped suddenly while after exercise eat some fast-acting carbohydrates like a banana or a candy.
Carry your phone
If you are going out to do exercise always carry your phone with you. In case of emergency, it will help you contact the hospital and your near and dear ones.
Best exercises for people with diabetes
For walking you don’t need to get a gym membership, it can be done anytime, anywhere. If you are new in the world of exercise, then it is the best way to start. Thirty minutes or one hour long brisk walk can help you a lot. It is convenient to do as there is no rocket science involved in it.
It helps in maintaining the body mass. Diabetes leads to loss of body mass which makes it difficult for the body to maintain blood sugar. Doing weight training at least three times a week can be of great use. Ideally, it should involve at least 5 types of lifting exercise, do 15-20 repetition of each exercise. Remember to target major muscle groups while doing weight training.
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As people grow up, they try to ignore getting on a bicycle but it can have a magical effect on your heart and lungs. So, if you are uncomfortable going out on your bike, opt for stationary bicycling. It falls under aerobics and will help you burn a lot of calories.
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise. It involves the whole body and is done in a very slow and relaxed way. It helps in strengthening the nervous system and reduces stress. Practising Tai chi for thirty minutes five days a week will give you astounding results.
Different yoga asana are designed to benefit different organs of the body. Practising asanas like dhanurasana, paschimottanasana, bhujangasana, Sarvangasana, chakrasana can help you in strengthening your pancreas and increasing the blood flow into the pancreas. It is also helpful in fighting stress. Practice yoga for forty minutes to one hour per day, depending upon your body.
It is very useful for burning calories and bringing down the cholesterol level. Practice swimming ten minutes, three times a week.
One reason for keeping people away from exercise is that it is boring. Well if that’s the reason for you too then try dancing. Dancing engages the whole body, increases your flexibility, reduces the blood sugar and helps you in maintaining your body weight.