Why should people exercise? Why is exercise important? What about exercise and type 2 diabetes? Is there a relationship between lack of exercise and diabetes? What exercise is best for a diabetic? Let’s break these questions down.
Why should people exercise and why is exercise important?
Exercising to become physically fit will help blood circulation which also helps clean toxins from our cells with proper hydration. Exercise helps us maintain proper weight and compliments a good diet. Diet alone is not sufficient for good health. One of the reasons so many Americans are overweight and get diabetes is that we haven’t exercised regularly. Sure we make work a lot of hours or work hard but we still need exercise.
The benefits of regular exercise are:
• Aids relaxation and improves work performance • Alleviates depression, enhances our mood and gives a sense of well being • Burns calories and helps maintain ideal weight • Decreased Appetite • Increased energy and stamina • Helps detoxify the body • Prevents constipation • Promotes cardiovascular fitness, improves circulation and lowers blood pressure • Tones the body and strengthens muscles
What about exercise and type 2 diabetes is there a link between lack of exercise and diabetes?
Most type 2 diabetics do not get enough exercise. Their sedentary lifestyle packs on the pounds as the body is unable to burn off our excess glucose. A poor diet filled with junk food seems to be a cause of insulin resistance leading to diabetes. Burning off the extra calories with regular exercise keeps that extra glucose from turning to love handles.
What exercise is best for a diabetic?
The absolute best exercise for a type 2 diabetic is a brisk walk. Walking has the least risk of injury if you are overweight. You do not need a gym membership to walk. It is free. If you do have a gym membership, hop on the treadmill it’s a low impact way to exercise which is good for those with joint problems.
Bicycle riding is another worthwhile exercise. Calories burned on a leisurely bike ride are nearly the same as a brisk walk. Racing bikes can burn calories rapidly. You can also ride a stationary bike at home. Good for older adults.
Low impact aerobics can burn calories faster than walking or biking. I don’t recommend jogging for older people as it can be detrimental to joint health.
Skating or rollerblading will burn calories a little faster than walking if you have the balance for it and are willing to risk a good fall. Having just broken my collarbone 2 weeks ago, at this writing, I am a little sensitive to falling.
If you are arthritic or have problems with gout you may want to take up swimming as it has the least impact on your joints. Swimming is also a good way to burn calories.
Besides the physical benefits exercise stimulates the release of endorphins and leaves you with an emotional high. Walking is a great way to chase away depression, as well.
A study by scientists at the University of Pittsburg found that 30-60 minutes walking caused weight loss without dietary changes. Walking will also help[ you build stonger bones and bone mass
If you are new to exercising or recovering from a stroke or heart attack you’ll want to start out slowly. When I was recovering from my stroke I was happy the day I could walk the first half of a block. Start off your walk slowly and build up your speed and distance a little each week.
A few exercise tips:
1. Get a good drink before and after exercising. If biking you can add a water bottle holder to your bike.
2. Exercise at least every other day but no more than 6 days a week.
3. Stretch some before you start exercising and warm up a little before getting up to full speed. Cool down by slowly walking at the end of your walk.
4. Start your walking program with level ground and after a 3-4 weeks you can add in hilly terrain.
5. Don’t overdo it. You should be able to repeat the same intensity of exercise within 24 hours. If you ever experience chest pains stop.
If you are out of shape, over 40 or have had heart problems please consult your doctor before you start a new exercise program.