Getting Motivated For Movement
You have decided to make exercise a priority because you know its a powerful step at managing your diabetes. But making any new change can feel nerve-racking when you dont have the confidence of experience under your belt. When starting a new behavior change like exercise, you may first need to anticipate obstacles that may make it hard to maintain the change. These obstacles may be different for different people. Next, developing an exercise plan and setting rewards for achieving your plan can help keep you motivated and on track. Consider the following tips for getting motivated for movement:
Diabetes And Exercise During Pregnancy
Despite the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy in response to the development of the foetus and the increased metabolic demands of both mother and foetus, regular physical activity is as beneficial in pregnant women as in non-pregnant individuals. Maternal benefits include the decreased risk of excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes mellitus and gestational hypertension reduced incidence of muscle cramps, lower limb oedema and musculoskeletal discomfort and prevention of urinary incontinence, reduced symptoms of depression and promotion of overall wellness.
What Kind Of Workout Plan Should You Choose
There are two kinds of exercises that I recommend for people with T1D aerobic exercises and strength training. For the best results, you should incorporate a combination of the two into your workouts.
Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, biking, or dancing can be great to keep your glucose levels under control and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercises every week with no more than 2 days of continuous inactivity.
Moderate intensity basically means that you should easily be able to talk during your workout. On the other hand, vigorous intensity means that you shouldnt be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath during your workout.
Now, if youre just starting out and are not very active, dont put too much pressure on yourself. Take it easy and give your body time to adjust to your diabetes workout. You can even start by walking for 10 minutes a day and slowly increase the time every week.
Again, its important not to overdo things when youre starting out. Do fewer repetitions of each exercise and use lighter weights. Then gradually increase both your reps and weights.
Heres a diabetes workout plan that you can follow every week:
Day 1: Aerobics
Day 2: Strength training
Day 3: Aerobics
Day 4: Aerobics
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Want To Improve Your Health With Type 2 Diabetes Try This Fun And Easy Diabetes Fitness Plan From Wwwbetterhealthkarecom
Following a diabetes fitness plan is an essential part of managing Type 2 diabetes. If you have been diagnosed as having prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, a program of regular exercise can significantly improve your health and even reduce or eliminate your need for insulin. The American Diabetes Association recommends increasing your physical activity level every day and actively exercising 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. Making sure you achieve the recommended amount of physical activity can be difficult, particularly if you are not used to exercising. That is why experts recommend creating and following a diabetes fitness plan in order to get the best results.
How Do I Build An Exercise Program
To help you gradually work towards a more structured exercise routine, first begin by asking yourself these questions:
- What do I like to do? Make a list of exercises you could do and that sound enjoyable. What physical activities were fun for you as a child? Do you like being in a group setting or working out alone?
- What fits my lifestyle and my schedule?Consider your budget, the weather conditions in your area, clothing or equipment needs, and transportation logistics.
- Do I have any physical limitations that require exercise restrictions from my doctor?To exercise safely, discuss your exercise plan with your healthcare provider and get medical clearance.
Once you have selected some activities, begin with small amounts of increased activity, and gradually work towards a more structured exercise routine. For example, even a 5 minute walk to the corner is a reasonable place to start! Then week by week, try walking for 5 minutes more until you reach a goal walking routine of at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. Think F.I.T. to put your exercise plan into action and gradually build up your routine, step-by-step:
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What Activities Should You Include In Your Exercise Plan
Warm up/cool down: The most important thing you can include in your physical activity regimen is a warm up/cool down routine for before and after your workout. The purpose of a warm up is to gradually prepare your heart, lungs and muscles for safe, effective and comfortable exercise. Warm up exercises include stretching or walking.
Cool down exercises are important to lower your heart rate, body temperature and breathing rate to pre-exercise levels. A cool down exercise is one that reduces the intensity of your activity this gives the blood a chance to re-circulate throughout your body, and reduces your risk of fainting or dizziness. Read more about warm up and cool down exercises here.
Resistance exercise is a very worthwhile activity for people with diabetes. Resistance exercises are ones that force your muscles to work repeatedly to overcome a resistance force. Weight lifting is one of the most common resistance exercises others include push-ups and sit-ups. The reason why resistance exercise is so important is that it builds muscle strength, as well as bone strength and bone density. It has also been shown to help regulate your blood sugar levels, and increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels .
Where Do I Begin With Exercise
Exercise is any activity that gets your body moving. Exercise doesnt have to mean breaking a sweat at the gym or running a marathon. Any physical activity counts towards improving your health and managing your diabetes something is always better than nothing. So if you are just starting exercise for the first time, remember to start at a level that is comfortable for you. The first step is increasing your daily activity levels:
- Limit sedentary activities such as television or computer time.
- Do stretching exercise, or leg lifts while watching TV.
- Take the stairs.
- Get off the elevator one flight away from your destination and walk up the last flight.
- Do errands by food or bicycle.
- Park your car at the far side of the parking lot.
- Get off the bus one stop away from your destination, and walk the rest of the way.
- Take an after-dinner walk with family or friends.
- Spend part of your lunch hour walking.
- Walk around the perimeter of the mall before shopping.
- Schedule family time doings something active.
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Even Little Changes Make A Big Difference
If youre still struggling with getting started or feeling overwhelmed by the idea of starting a more active life, take heart: every change, no matter how small, makes a difference in your ability to manage diabetes. Even losing 10-15 pounds can have a significant impact on your health. The power to change is firmly in your handsso get moving today.
Exercise: Begin With The Basics
While diet can sometimes be tailored for you by a doctor or nutritionist , the kind of exercise that works for evading or managing type 2 diabetes is a bit broader.
Essentially: All exercise counts! Especially because doing something you enjoy helps you to stick with it. According to the American Heart Association , most adults need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both.
For instance, you could choose to go on two 30-minute powerwalks 2 days out of the week, combined with two 20-minute runs 2 other days of the week.
Keep in mind: Moderate aerobic exercise elevates your heart rate, so if its possible for you, make sure those powerwalks are brisk!
If moderate exercise isnt possible, the American Diabetes Association says that even low-volume activity improves insulin action in previously sedentary adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , if youre living with type 2 diabetes, the effects of exercise on blood sugar can sometimes be immediate: Check your blood sugar before and after 20 to 30 minutes of heart-elevating activity, and youll likely see a lowered number.
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Start Exercising And Reap Rewards
You wont see results overnight, but youll start to notice more energy, sleep better, and have an improved sense of well-being within a few weeks of starting to exercise regularly. Be patient and you may even find yourself excited about your exercise routine. Who knows? It could become your favorite part of the day.
Additional reporting by Brian Dunleavy
Building Your Workout Plan
There are different ways to start working out today. You can become more active by daily activities such as chores or going for a walk each day. Track how often youre moving by using a pedometer to measureyour daily steps. Aim for workouts for a mix of resistance and aerobic training that use large muscle groups like your legs, back, and core. However, we know not everyone wants to lift weights, so maybe walking or learning how to train as a runner may be more your style.
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Make A Plan And Be Accountable
Chart out a routine — the days, times, and length of your workout sessions. Keep a log of your exercise and your blood sugar levels, too.
That will help you track your progress and see how your workouts are making a difference. It will also make you more accountable for times you miss a session or when you might not have done enough. And you can start to see patterns, like days, times, or types of exercise that work better for you.
But donât set goals you know you canât meet. If youâve never been able to wake up early to spend an hour at the gym before work, that shouldnât be your plan now. Doctors recommend 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity almost every day, but you donât have to find time to do it all at once. Break it up into 10- or 15-minute sessions.
And reward yourself when you meet your goals! Splurge on some new workout clothes, a massage, or more songs for your playlist.
The Benefits Of Diet And Exercise
Diet and exercise are key components of a successful strategy to avoid or manage diabetes. Studies show that diet and exercise can sharply lower the likelihood of diabetes, even in people at high risk of developing it.
Other studies show that lifestyle interventions such as diet, exercise, and education can improve risk factors that are often associated with cardiovascular disease in individuals already living with type 2 diabetes, as well as help lower blood sugar levels.
So not only does eating a nutritious diet and getting enough physical activity help manage blood sugar if you already have type 2 diabetes, but it can also aid in weight loss and high cholesterol issues often closely tied to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Also, a major clinical study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases observed individuals at risk for diabetes for three years and found that including 150 minutes of exercise a week decreased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent .
This means sticking to physical activity and a nutritious diet may not only help you avoid or reverse a type 2 diabetes diagnosis now but in the future as well.
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Use Tools To Set Exercise Goals And Plan Ahead
Setting goals can help you break down what you need to do and how to do it. These can be short, medium or long-term goals, and they can give you the chance to think ahead about any barriers you might come across. Examples could include:
- completing a weekly exercise video online
- going on a daily walk
- stretching for 10 minutes after you wake up.
We’ve also created a guide to moving more to help you start this journey. There’s space for you to plan your activity and track your progress, as well as lots of information to support you along the way.
If one of your aims is to lose weight, weve made a weight loss planner for you to download. You can stick it to your fridge to help you keep track each day.
You might also want to try our Learning Zone to learn more about how effective a little bit of physical activity can be for your diabetes. Youll also be able to hear from other people with diabetes about what they do to get active and how it helps.
If youre short on time and prefer to plan while youre on the go, try apps like the Couch to 5K and Active 10. Apps can be really motivating and give your planning some structure.
How To Benefit From Physical Activity
The goal is to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. One way to do this is to try to fit in at least 20 to 25 minutes of activity every day. Also, on 2 or more days a week, include activities that work all major muscle groups .
Examples of moderate-intensity physical activities include:
- Walking briskly
- Playing Sports
These activities work your large muscles, increase your heart rate, and make you breathe harder, which are important goals for fitness. Stretching helps to make you flexible and prevent soreness after being physically active. Find out more by reading tips for being active with diabetes pdf icon.
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Keeping Active On The Move
Its surprising how a slight change of routine can increase your physical activity levels and help you feel better when youre living with diabetes. This could include:
- getting off the bus or tube one stop earlier, or parking further away from your destination
- taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
- using your food shopping as weights
Type 2 Diabetes Explained
Following digestion, a hormone called insulin is released into the blood from the pancreas. Among insulins primary roles is its ability to allow carbohydrates and proteins to enter muscle cells, where they are stored or used for energy. With type 2 diabetes, some insulin is produced, but the body does not effectively use it. This condition is known as insulin resistance and prohibits glucose from entering the cells. In turn, blood glucose rises to abnormal levels in the blood. If unchecked for extended periods, elevated glucose levels lead to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and nerve dysfunction.
Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to lifestyle factors, especially diet and exercise. People at highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes have a family history, as well as other cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
However, the same techniques that are used for prevention of this diseasea healthy diet and regular exercisecan be used to control and possibly reverse its progression.
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Work Out With A Friend
Working out with friends can be an important motivator, particularly for people over 60, according to Vicki Conn, PhD, the associate dean for research at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., who has studied diabetes and exercise.
Having a friend call or setting up an exercise “contract” with a buddy may help. “One of the things we found with our meta-analysis is that behavioral strategies work better that means setting up some sort of stimulus in the environment where you exercise,” says Conn.
What Kinds Of Exercise Should You Do
doesStrength TrainingFlexibility TrainingCreate a Routine and Stick with It
- American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes2009. Diabetes Care. 2009 32:S13-61.
- Becker G. Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the newly Diagnosed. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Marlowe & Company 2007.
- McCulloch D. Patient information: Diabetes type 2: Overview. UpToDate Web site. January 30, 2009. Available at: http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~n0K0MIfI1iZs.& selectedTitle=5~150& source=search_result. Accessed April 20, 2009.
- McCulloch D. Patient information: Diabetes mellitus type 2: Overview. UpToDate Web site. December 4, 2008. Available at: http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~X0jjLnBn4._ko& selectedTitle=4~150& source=search_result. Accessed April 20, 2009.
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Best Type Of Exercise When You Have Diabetes
There isnt one type of activity thats best for everyone with diabetes – its about finding what works for you. This can depend on lots of things, like what you enjoy, where you are and how much time you have. Try to think about how activity can fit in with your life, not the other way around.
Were running free physical activity classes for people living with diabetes, both online and face-to-face with coronavirus safety measures in place. and start your journey to move more.
In general, its best to try and do a mixture of different types of activity. This is because different types of activity have different benefits, and use different parts of your body.
For example, swimming can make you breathe harder and raise your heart rate. This is good for your heart health because your heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body. When you have diabetes, keeping your heart healthy is even more important because youre more at risk of complications, including heart disease.
Gardening, however, can help with strength, and doing something like digging can help the body use insulin better.
Some people can find that doing the same thing can get boring after a while, so weve put together a list of ideas to give you inspiration or to help you get started.
And weve also teamed up with Sport England and other charity partners to help promote moving more across the UK in the We Are Undefeatable campaign.