Different Ways To Reach
An Ultimate Goal
What kind of choices yields the best diabetic exercise?
Actually, many will say there is no such thing as a best exercise program for a person with diabetes. Any kind of movement(s) that get your heart pumping and the muscles in your arms and legs moving is going to help you achieve greater diabetic health.
Although research to date has shown that a combination of reading and understanding the importance of the foods which you eat plus some light aerobics (walking, swimming, cycling) 3 or 4 days a week and some weight bearing exercises the other 1-2 days is ideal for lowering your blood sugar levels without the aid of medications, realize the importance right up front any movement is better than no movement.
Start an exercise program slowly, especially during your senior years and build yourself up to a frequency over time which will bring you to the ideal level which is suggested for maintaining good diabetic health. Work with a licensed trainer or consultant to find what is best for you and your current health and condition.
Benefits of a Diabetic Exercise Program
The amount of benefits your body can achieve from any type of continuous program is remarkable. Some common benefits will include:
- increased energy with improved physical and emotional well-being
- lowered risk of heart disease
- enhances your blood cholesterol levels by raising the good cholesterol and lowering the bad
- decrease in your blood pressure readings
- controls weight gain, builds lean muscle, and reduces body fat
- the calorie burning effect you receive during exercise can also last for hours after you have stopped the formal exercise itself.
But, documented proof has shown if your next meal or snack after your exercise includes some of the "good fats", such as monounsaturated oils, the calories you are burning seems to be extended, many times up to hours later. But eating a meal or snack high in saturated fats (such as meats or dairy products) turned off this fat burning switch right after eating.
- improves the blood flow to all parts of your body
- allows your body to better utilize its available insulin while still reducing your dependency on any medications you may be currently taking
So, whether you are a newcomer to exercise needing an easy beginner's workout or you are interested in changing up to another good cardio workout, adding exercise to your daily schedule must be precluded initially by a full health physical so your doctor is fully aware of any limitations you may have (poor circulation, breathing or blood pressure problems, out of condition, or smoking habit etc.).
Some limitations can lead to instructions you must avoid certain types of exercise for diabetics because of the stress which is generated on certain body groups. Many times though, if your doctor states jogging is out of the question on land, he may recommend a pool exercises program where you can jog to you heart's desire. A few examples are:
- if you have any type of Eye Disease you should not do any jumping or jarring exercises or you must refrain from lifting weights.
- partial loss of feeling in your feet or legs prevents jogging and fast-walking as a choice. Swimming or water aerobics is a safer alternative.
- a long-standing continuous smoking habit means you must first be tested for lung and air exchange capacity to confirm your lungs are able to accept the increased stress of an exercise program. It is often recommended, step one is the cessation of smoking any type of tobacco product.
Most people though have tried and failed repeatedly because they do realize the inherent dangers in smoking and how it may contribute to poor health. But after so many attempts, all resulting in a dismal failure, the mind-set usually becomes "none of these ever work for me".
So a new program known as Smokeless Cigarettes can actually aid you in a slow but steady step-down process to get off of nicotine. This is now available and receiving good reviews. Before you give up, take a little time, check out this option, read it, study it and then make the decision whether you may feel this program might work for you.
- heart disease or the presence of its multiple risk factors means a tolerance test needs to be run first.
Four Components Of A Good Program
For all-around better health, lower blood sugars and an increase in strength and flexibility, there is four main components which is necessary for a good diabetic program. Try to incorporate all of these into your sessions during each and every week.
Remember, this is not a daily requirement but a revolving program of different assortments on different days, all which ultimately will lead to better health.
- Aerobic exercise centers around raising your heart rate and using the larger muscle groups. Pick and choose between a brisk walk, swimming pool exercises, or swimming laps in the pool, bicycles (whether indoor or out). These each are a few good suggestions. Each of these get your different body parts moving and your breathing a little more stronger and more difficult. Work up to a pace of about 30 minutes a day, 3-5 days of the week.
- Resistance training is easiest to carry out by thinking weight training. Get it out of your head though this equates to some body builder body. Try a routine, even if it's just with cans of vegetables from your pantry, at least 2-3 days a week. As you get better and stronger, just increase the size (thus the weight) of your canned fruit or vegetable.
- Flexibility exercise is best known as the warm-up/cool down session. Start with a few simple moves and work up the intensity just slightly to get the blood flowing and increase your flexibility before you actually start your workout.
Do the same in reverse then to cool down so your body does not get prone to muscle cramping from the rapid closure of your session.
- Balance sounds so ridiculous to many but it is actually extremely important and so easy to add into your daily life. If you can, some structured yoga classes are fantastic but an easier way for the majority of us is when you are standing in one place, pick one foot up and hold it there for one minute without holding on to any counter, chair, table etc.. Repeat with the other foot.
When you get adept at one minute with no means of support, close your eyes and do the same thing without peeking. It's actually harder than you might think.
Rules Of A Diabetic Exercise Program
Everything in life has a set of rules and regulations which are a requirement. Starting an exercise routine is no different. Strive to prevent muscle strain or injuries before, during and after every exercise session by adhering to the following safety measures:
- warm up first by doing simple arm and leg swings or bends plus marching in place
- do some simple stretches on all extremities and the upper body
- wear a pair of good quality shoes for your feet protection
- drink some water before-during-and after your workout session
- lift some light weights (a 1 lb can of vegetables can serve this purpose) with each arm
- slightly bend your knees during all workouts. Do not ever lock your knees
- always do a cool down session. reverse the order of this list so your body has a chance to cool down
- take extra care and precautions during outdoor activities in the cold weather to insure your health and safety
So although all diabetic exercise programs may be different from one individual to another, the objective here is not to deliver quantity or quality at the outset, it is more a question of being able to effectively and safely allow your body a chance at freedom of movement.
Surprisingly, just normal everyday household chores, yard work and even taking care of the kids adds a measurable amount of calories expended. Take a look at this table, then get your body up out of that chair and do some simple stuff that easily adds up to a day's worth of exercise without so much as lifting a finger to actually do "exercise".
|10 Minutes Of:
|Current Weight Around 175 Lbs.
|Current Weight Around 250 Lbs.|
||48 calories used
||69 calories used|
|washing floors (by hand)
|weeding the garden
|pushing the mower
|preparing a meal
|washing yourself/getting dressed
|painting your house
|working on your car
|caring for a baby or toddler
|playing the piano
|doing electrical or plumbing work in house
**Excerpted from Prevention Magazine
Even something as simple as chewing a piece of sugarless gum expands up to 5 calories for every 10 minutes. Climb the stairs, play a round of basketball or baseball with the kids in the driveway, hit the golf course or miniature gold course, re-arrange the furniture in your home, or the best one yet, every single commercial while the TV is on, get up and do some kind of low-impact exercise right there where you are standing. For every one hour program you can expend up to 112 calories burned just by standing in that one spot and bending sideways at the waist or bending your knees and pretending to sit down.
So now that you have seen how easy it is to burn calories in just as little as 10 minutes of work, add all of the stuff up you could be doing around the house each day, and your house could become known as the local gym.