Exercise sometimes sounds intimidating. But if you create some consistency to the activities you are already doing, you can get the same benefits. Here are 5 ways to increase activity for your better health.
Many health organizations still recommend that people diagnosed with diabetes (PWD) achieve 150 minutes of moderately intense activity weekly. Physical activity is a necessity for managing blood sugars and weight. Obesity, or being overweight, increases one’s risk for diabetes complications. Even people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are encouraged to commit to regular and consistent activities for known health benefits, including decreased risk for heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure and cholesterol. Summer will be here in a few months, and to make the most of any season change in your life, you must prepare with a flexible plan.
When I discuss the need to move regularly with PWD, I use the term activity instead of exercise. Often, the word exercise can seem overwhelming to some. For example, sometimes people associate extreme weight lifting, profuse sweating, gym membership, and time-consuming with the word exercise. On the contrary, many PWD are doing qualified activities every day, but often need to do the activities for a longer time, consistently, and at a higher intensity. As always, speak with your healthcare provider about recommended activities, limitations, and how to prevent and treat high and low blood sugar.
5 Ways to Increase Activity
Here are five ways to include moderately intense activities into your diabetes and health management plan.
- Walk briskly for 30 minutes a day. Community parks and schools usually have a track you can walk around. Are there walking teams in your community (i.e., wellness or church groups)? Always be safe by carrying your glucometer and quick-acting glucose items with you. Make sure you have a list of your medications and allergies in case you need medical attention.
- Go bicycling for 30 minutes a day. You can enlist a family member or friend to ride with you. Check to see if there are bicycling groups in your community (i.e., wellness groups).
- Commit to 30 minutes a day to house cleaning activities. Schedule these activities throughout the week. For example, Thursdays are my wipe-down days. Wiping windows is an example of moderately intense activity. In addition, you can commit to doing laundry, mopping, sweeping, and other activities throughout the week.
- Schedule 30-minute family bonding activities in the evening, such as basketball, softball, tennis, or whatever your favorite family activities might include.
- Alternate the above activities to increase variety, or choose from the Centers for Disease Control’s list. So take out your planner and commit to being active five days a week.
Remember, the more you love doing something, the more you will do it. So be creative and open to changing your routine for a better you.
Make this lifetime great!