Active living and diabetes

Stay active to feel better.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends physical activity to help control type 2 diabetes. This does not mean you have to endure more workouts, but incorporating activities into your daily routine will help. As always, talk to your healthcare provider before you change any daily routine that may affect your diabetes.

Focus on movement: Forget the term exercise and replace it with movement. Thirty minutes of movement in 10-minute blocks are great. So, how can you do this?

  • Stroll with a friend: Time passes quickly as you strike up a conversation while walking.
  • Clean your home: To boost your calorie burn, dust, vacuum or scrub floors, to music: this will make you move faster and enjoy the chores more.
  • Walk your pet: Pets love to go outdoors, even on miserable weather days. Many times, they will take you on a nature adventure!
  • Gardening: You will use muscles you are surprised you have with all the digging, watering and stretching. Keep using them and as time goes by the muscles will not hurt.
  • Parking: If safe, park in the space furthest from the building. Those extra steps definitely add up!      
  • Track your steps: Many phones have “FIT” apps on them or find a pedometer. You will feel more motivated as those steps add up and you will find you have a little competition with yourself.
  • TV time movement: During every commercial break get up and move. Stretch, dance or walk around the house. Do jumping jacks or march in place while watching the commercial. In one hour of TV, you can accomplish 20 minutes of movement!

Exercise and portion control can help one lose weight. Just losing 5 percent of your weight, (for a 200-pound person that is 10 pounds) will reduce the health factors in diabetes: heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. It may also give you the benefit of reducing medications and feeling all around better. According to the CDC, you not only will have the above health benefits, but also the energy to do more activities.

With the onset of spring, try new activities. The fresh air, walking, visiting with friends and spring-cleaning will give you a new positive attitude and help control your diabetes.

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