Exercising is a significant component of maintaining your stamina, health, and well-being. This is particularly true for people who have diabetes. Sadly, as little as 40% of Americans who have developed diabetes exercise regularly, according to the World Journal of Diabetes. This grim statistic is, unfortunately, an insufficiently addressed fact in our public discourse on health. Therefore, people who might not be well-informed of their condition must receive information about the best exercise for people with diabetes.
Why is regular exercising good for you?
Regular exercising is extremely beneficial for combating diabetes as it helps increase insulin levels and keep blood sugar under control. Furthermore, exercise helps your body evade other illnesses by activating the immune system’s defense mechanisms.
Exercising helps boost your immunity
What’s more, exercising can make a difference for people with chronic diseases, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are typically at a heightened risk of contracting this and other diseases. In fact, some findings have shown that people with diabetes tend to recover from Covid less easily. The reason is that their immune systems cannot fend off the infection. Therefore, improving your immunity via exercise rather than medication is a less invasive way to improve your overall health.
Exercising helps you maintain your body weight
Exercising also helps maintain your weight in check, which is extremely important if you are overweight or obese. People who struggle with weight have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. It is another argument for integrating exercise into your daily routine. Because having a body mass index over 35 dramatically increases the chances of developing diabetes, many doctors observe exercise as an integral part of preventive medical therapy.
Exercising helps maintain your balance
Preventing the development of diabetes is just one of the beneficial effects of training. Maintaining your body weight is also crucial for countering balance problems which sometimes lead to falling when you have type 2 diabetes.
This is particularly true of people who are over 40 and have diabetes. Thus, they should include balance training 2-3 times weekly. Having a healthy body weight and fitness level makes practicing anything from one-leg balancing to tai chi easier. Additionally, people with diabetes should focus on lower-body and core training since they also contribute to the patient’s balance exercise.
All in all, when combined with diets that actually work, exercising is more than beneficial for people with diabetes.
Brisk walking is one of the activities that bring major benefits
Although walking might sound like a light, ineffective exercise regiment, taking an occasional brisk walk down a nature trail near your house is the perfect way to start integrating exercise into your daily routine.
Walking is especially suitable for people who struggle with weight as it is easy and convenient to do. Since it does not require you to invest in expensive equipment, walking can be an ideal activity that can activate your muscles at any time of the day. All it takes is for you to grab a pair of comfortable shoes, bring a bottle of water, and set your eyes on the goal.
Walking is highly advisable for people with diabetes since it does not compromise their heart rate. They should do this moderate-intensity activity every day for at least 30 minutes at a higher pace to reach the prescribed amount of exercise for people with diabetes. So, if you cannot devote 30 minutes of exercise every day, you can make up for it in walking so that you reach a total of 150 minutes of physical activity weekly.
Fast-pace walking is a good substitute for the gym and excellent exercise for people with diabetes.
Tai Chi helps manage stress and your balance
This old Chinese discipline is unique because it involves participants flowing and breathing their way from movement to movement in a careful, relaxed way. This makes tai chi especially suited for type 2 diabetics since it helps manage blood glucose and A1C levels. Also, the controlled yet relaxed movements help relieve stress and anxiety.
Yet another advantage of practicing tai chi is its beneficial effect on balance and coordination of movements. It is believed that Tai chi ‘backtracks’ nerve damage and even peripheral neuropathy to some extent, both of which patients who struggle with maintaining normal levels of blood sugar experience frequently.
Although it is not scientifically proven that tai chi cures these conditions, researchers state that practicing tai chi is unquestionably beneficial for patients with diabetes, especially in terms of stress relief, balance practice, improvement of stamina, flexibility, and strength.
Essentially, from the point of view of medical practitioners, tai chi offers plenty of opportunities for exercising balance and coordination. It’s a necessary activity that people with diabetes should do regularly to lead a healthy and safe life.
Yoga is another discipline that helps reduce stress and blood sugar levels
Just like tai chi, Yoga is an activity that also focuses on balance, control, and proper breathing, making it especially suited to the needs of people who have diabetes. Another benefit of regular Yoga practice is its advantageous effect on your stress. This means that one Yoga session significantly reduces your stress levels, which in turn lowers your blood sugar levels. Furthermore, just like walking, Yoga is an activity one can do whenever they feel like it. It is also an excellent way to build your physical strength, flexibility, and stamina gradually.
Yoga is excellent for starting your exercising journey.
All of this makes Yoga the perfect moderate-intensity activity for diabetics, although it is generally recommended that they first get acquainted with Yoga in a professional yoga studio. It is necessary to be careful when doing Yoga since some asanas (i.e., positions) may seem easier than they actually are.
Basically, as with any physical activity, learning, practicing, and performing the exercise correctly is very important for avoiding injuries, swellings, and other complications. Also, proper breathing alongside correct and controlled movements is crucial for maintaining and practicing your balance.
Weight training is fantastic for improving your muscle tone
It is common knowledge that weight training is generally beneficial for building and maintaining muscle strength. Since correctly done weight training builds muscle mass, it is strongly recommended as a crucial, if not an indispensable part of any exercise routine – particularly when you have diabetes.
You should not avoid weight training if you have diabetes.
This is because the loss of muscle mass contributes to increased blood sugar levels in the body. It is a wide-spread belief in the medical community that weight training or resistance exercises should be integrated into the workout schedule of diabetics at least twice per week.
So, if you do not have a lot of experience with weight training, you should seek advice from a personal trainer before you hit the gym and get a hold of free weights, machines, or bands. For optimal results, doing 2-3 sets of 9-13 reps of each exercise should do the trick.
In sum, we hope this short guide on the best exercise for people with diabetes has helped you get a clearer picture of what appeals to you best. If there is something else you would rather integrate into your workout schedule, feel free to do so. The important thing is that the nature and dynamic of the activity are beneficial for keeping your condition in check.