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Essential Exercises for Everyone with Diabetes

Like oxygen is to the body, exercise is to the diabetic’s healthy blood glucose levels. Working out in diabetes is even more necessary as it also helps you keep fit and active and improves overall health. It is however important to check your blood sugar levels before and after exercise to ensure optimum benefits of the workout.

Studies have shown some discouraging figures pertaining to type 2 diabetes and exercise but with increasing awareness this is being eliminated and people are proactively opting for it.

Let us take a look at some highly recommended exercises for diabetes which can be incorporated in their daily routine.

  • While it may seem easier for large number of diabetics, walking has much greater benefits than one can imagine. Brisk walking at a pace similar to aerobic exercise at least three days of the week is prescribed by experts for ideal diabetes management.
  • For fitness and simultaneous stress reduction among diabetics, tai chi is highly beneficial as it involves a series of movement performed in relaxed way for around 30 minutes. It plays a great role in healing nerve damage due to diabetes.
  • Weight training has numerous benefits both for diabetics as well as others. It helps build muscle mass which is important for type 2 diabetics as it helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Plan for your exercise in consultation with your diabetes educator and always take a rest day between workout days.
  • Yoga

Yoga has been proven across the globe to be the most effective way to manage diabetes. Not only does it improve blood circulation, but also helps reduce body fat, fight insulin resistance, and improve nerve function. It plays a great role in relaxing the mind and reducing the symptoms of depression. The following benefits of yoga have been highlighted.

  • Enhanced muscle strength and endurance
  • Improved flexibility and balance
  • Lower BMI
  • Controlled weight
  • Reduced neck and back pain
  • Improvement in Asthma
  • Better blood pressure and blood sugar management
  • Better lipid profile
  • Lesser cancer related fatigue
  • Improvement in menopausal symptoms
  • Improved body image
  • Sharper concentration, awareness and mindfulness

The recommended yoga asanas for diabetics are:

  1. Kapal Bhati
  2. Supta Matsyendrasana
  3. Dhanurasana
  4. Paschimottanasana
  5. Ardhya Matsyendrasana
  6. Shavasana
  • Swimming

Swimming is a great form of aerobic exercise and extremely helpful for type 2 diabetics as it does not put pressure on your joints and still helps the body relax and stretch at the same time. Swimming is also easier for your feet than other forms of exercise like walking or jogging. Diabetics must however opt for special shoes designed for use in the pool and must lessen and prevent scraped feet and the risk of slipping.

  • Cycling

Cycling in the gym is another perfect way to strengthen your leg and calf muscles. It also makes your heart stronger and your lungs function in a much better way. This helps diabetics as they can peddle it indoors and do not have to worry about commuting long distances to gain the benefits. It is known to burn a lot of calories too.  

All of these exercises are designed to keep your blood glucose levels in a balanced state. When followed with healthy diet and active lifestyle, these can really decide your complete well-being for leading a joyful life with diabetes.

With all the exercising, it might be helpful to keep a glucometer with you. This will allow you to monitor and manage your sugar levels from time to time.

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