Being diagnosed with diabetes is a scary time in your life. If you have type 2, you want to fix the problems that have caused you to get this disease, which means altering your diet and adopting an exercise plan. However, you might wonder what’s the best exercises for diabetes, and how can you start such a program without further compromising your health?
Thankfully, there are many things that a person with diabetes can do without issue. The benefits of doing the proper exercises for diabetes can help put the condition in remission. Consequently, it would help if you choose your exercise routine wisely, as not all workouts are equal or suitable for a person with compromised health.
How much exercise do you need? Well, according to the National Institutes of Health, a person with diabetes should get around 150 minutes of activity each week. If you break that down into daily goals, it’s roughly 20 minutes.
The target is to never go for more than two days without any activity. If you develop a routine, then you can quickly get control over this disease.
Considerations Before You Begin an Exercise Routine
First, if you don’t have enough insulin in your body when you start your workout, it can cause your blood sugar to rise further. Anyone with a glucose level of 250 to 300 mg/dl shouldn’t do any activities until this number is more controlled. Another thing to keep in mind is that as you’re working out, your body will release hormones, such as adrenaline, which can cause a temporary rise in your glucose levels.
If there is any time during your workout that you feel weak, confused, or your body is shaking, then you should stop. If your blood sugars fall below 70 mg/dl, then it’s not safe for you to exercise. Low blood sugar can be dangerous when mixed with methods that can help to lower it further.
Choosing the Right Activities for Diabetics
So, what are the best exercises for diabetes? You might be surprised at the workouts that will help you with your body and your disease. Here are the top ten activities recommended by doctors for people with diabetes.
When dealing with type 2 diabetes, it’s a commonplace to find obesity at the crux. Swimming relieves the pressure from aching joints that might not otherwise be able to move. Using a soothing swimming pool to exercise is a great way to work the entire body without intense pain.
Not only does this joint-friendly option help to lower glucose levels, but it helps to strengthen your heart, muscles, and lungs too.
Oh, the places your feet will take you in life! Did you ever think about starting a walking regimen? Walking is less harmful to the joints than running, and it’s something that everyone can do. You get to choose the pace and how far you go.
Plus, when you walk with friends or family members, you will have the companionship that makes it not even feel like a workout. You can walk on the beach, in a park, or even around your house. The options are limitless when it comes to walking, but it’s notably one of the best exercises for diabetes.
What genre of music do you prefer? Do you like to boogie down to country music, or do you choose to show off your best moves to hip-hop? Whatever your preference doesn’t matter, as dancing will help you reach your goals to control glucose.
According to Captain Calculator, you can burn as much as 300-800 calories for one hour of getting your groove on. If you’re limited because of weight or mobility, you can use a chair and incorporate it into your routine. Dancing is one of the best exercises for diabetes because it’s fun and doesn’t feel like a workout.
Yoga has got a great deal of attention in the last decade. This ancient practice combines centering the mind, body, and spirit using gentle poses and moves. The wonderful thing about yoga is many different styles can accommodate your needs.
Thankfully, you probably won’t break a sweat, but still, the rewards of this exercise are hard to ignore. Doesn’t weight loss start in mind first anyway? So, using an activity that helps you center is an excellent place to begin.
5. Tai Chi
This oriental art uses gradual, efficient body movements to loosen the joints and muscles and ease the mind. Using Tai Chi is an effective way to control your blood sugar as it enhances vigor, strength, and mental health.
Remember how much you loved riding your bike when you were a child? Well, studies show that getting back on your cycle can help you manage your diabetes. There are now cycling centers with stationary bikes that can help you peddle your way to better health.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, almost half of the people who have diabetes have an arthritic condition. This most likely occurs from being overweight. Cycling is low impact, which means it won’t hurt your joints and muscles as much.
If you want to meet your fitness goals, improve your glucose levels, and lose some weight, then you can use cycling as your go-to method.
It’s always good to build muscle mass to burn more calories and control your glucose. You can use kettlebells, free weights, or machines to help you achieve your goals. You don’t need to go out and buy any expensive equipment if you don’t have it on hand, as you can use canned goods or even water bottles to lift.
You must learn how to lift weights safely as you can cause joint damage if you do it incorrectly. A class or two is an excellent option to try out different methods and get some guidance on the strategies that work best for you and your situation.
8. Resistance Bands
If weights are too much for you at this stage in your life, you might consider resistance bands. Resistance bands are great because it’s a low impact way to get a good workout. It’s one of the best exercises for diabetes, especially for those who have extra weight and sore joints that hinder movement.
Using these unique bands, you can sit on your couch or a comfortable chair and get a good workout in.
The wonderful thing about this type of exercise is that you use your body’s weight to build strength. The most common movements in this category are squats, lunges, pushups, and crunches. Since these muscle-strengthening activities are challenging when you’re first starting, you may want to allow a day to lapse in between your workouts to allow your body to adjust.
Pilates became popular in the past couple of decades as it improves the inner core and enhances balance and coordination. According to the National Institutes of Health, studies show that it also improves blood glucose control in women based on a 12-week review.
Many online tutorials can show you what to do and allow you to work alongside professionals. Or you may want to take a class in your area and team up with others battling diabetes and overweight.
The first place to start when considering a workout is to talk to your medical provider. You need to ensure that your glucose levels are at a safe place to do any workout routines. Second, you need to select a workout plan that is right for your body and needs.
It sounds good to do an hour of weightlifting each day as it’s one of the best exercises for diabetes, but not everyone can do such a workout. You need to start small and do things that won’t cause a great deal of pain. An excellent place to start is with something like resistance bands and then incorporate some dancing into it.
Both workouts can be done using a chair for comfort when needed, and you don’t have to strain your muscles or joints. The important thing about working out with diabetes is knowing when to listen to your body. If at any point you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or you’re short of breath, then you need to stop.
While it’s great to pick fantastic exercises for diabetes that strengthen your core and bring down those glucose levels, you want to make sure it’s done healthily. You can get control over your blood sugar levels, and it just takes a little effort to do it.