We all know how important physical activity is for mind and body, but it's even more important for diabetics. Here are 5 activities that are PERFECT for diabetics, to help you keep fit and healthy!
For those of us with diabetes, the biggest benefit of regular exercise is that it helps keep our blood glucose levels normal. For example, for people with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, either because their body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesn’t use insulin properly, and when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, reduce your blood glucose levels.
Unfortunately, not all exercises were created equal and some can be trickier than others, especially for diabetics. Below we have included our top-5 recommended forms of exercise that fit in with living a diabetes-conscious lifestyle.
Cycling is a sport that you can set our own pace too. The more we cycle, the faster our blood sugars fall. However, it is advised that diabetics cycle at frequent intervals instead of a higher intensity workout. What better way to pace yourself than using cycling as a way to commute to your local grocery store, or even to work? Although the current census 2016 by the Australian states that only 1.4% of all Australian commuters are cyclists, the number is growing. So how about we be a part of that growing number and do both us and the environment a favour?
Let’s face it- Australians all love to swim especially with our hot summers! Not only is swimming fun, but it helps in strengthening all major muscles of the body, unlike most exercises that focus on strengthening just a few muscles. This full-body strengthening is particularly important to diabetics because the more muscle cells activated, means more cells are able to effectively absorb blood glucose. Swimming is also known to improve cardiovascular activities, and with diabetics facing higher than average risks of cardiovascular diseases than others, swimming is a great exercise option.
Although swimming is an ideal way to control diabetes, the chlorine used to keep out harmful bacteria from the pool water can also strip your hair and skin of its natural oils. This can cause dry skin which can be dangerous for diabetics.
If you start swimming or already do make sure you moisturise your feet regularly and diligently. We recommend you try DIA-BALM the Specialise Diabetic Footcare cream for dry and cracked feet. Make sure you're moisturising before bed and after you dry off after a shower to help prevent dry skin as well as treat dry and cracked heels.
Most people don't think of walking as particularly fun, but did you know that just 30 minutes of walking every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It also has the added benefit of being free, convenient, and a great thing to do as a group!
You could also think about it like a challenge; could you get off your bus one stop early? Could you walk to the shops instead of driving? Try parking your car a little further away, or taking the stairs instead of the overcrowded elevator are great small ways to start. If you're feeling especially brave you could also try hiking!
However, you do your walking make sure you have the right shoes, and the right socks. Glucology Diabetic Copper Socks have copper woven into the material and utilising an awesome Australian-patented technology. These socks are so efficacious that they have been approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Association as a Class I Medical Device! They kill 99.9% of bacteria and fungi that cause odour, are hypoallergenic, actively draw water away from the skin and actually improve the appearance of skin.
Wait, gardening is a form of exercise? It most certainly is! According to the centre of disease control, gardening is compared to moderate cardiovascular exercise. Gardening 30 to 45 minutes a day is said to burn over 250 calories. As you step into the garden the peace and calm of nature washes over you and helps reduce stress while the physical exertion of gardening helps lower blood pressure. However, being outdoors at this time of the year has a variety of problems associated to dry skin, blisters and sores. Check out our new range of socks that will keep you warm, eliminate bacteria causing diseases that our feet might pick up outside! You could also use it with the diabalm for overall improvement in the appearance of your skin. Click here to check out our foot care bundles.
Yoga and meditation
Data from studies suggest that yoga can reduce stress-related hyperglycemia, and help keep your blood glucose in check. Furthermore, yoga is the most convenient form of exercise in today's day and age. Yoga exercises like controlled breathing techniques, meditation and body postures invoke a relaxation response. Controlling mental stress is critical for diabetes treatment. When we are stressed, our blood pressure levels increase and elevated blood sugar levels increase the chances of serious complications such as heart disease. Yoga postures stretch the pancreas, which can stimulate the production of insulin-producing beta cells. Like other forms of exercise, yoga increases glucose uptake by muscular cells, which in turn, helps to lower blood sugar levels, improve circulation and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you're not a fan of group classes, don't stress! There are plenty of video tutorials to get into the yoga flow.
Exercise is a cornerstone in the management of type 2 diabetes. However, whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes or not, exercise requires certain additional care. Diabetes is associated with dry skin and cracked heels, and it is therefore necessary to take care of our feet when we exercise. Check out our products and foot care and prevention bundles to look after you while you take on this journey of fitness with us! It is also important to have a healthy meal plan and maintain our blood glucose levels. Check out our weekly blog posts on new and healthy recipes to stay on top of your game!
Our Services and Blog posts are NOT intended to substitute any professional medical advice or treatment and are offered for informational purposes only. Remember to always work with your doctor before changing anything about your medication or diabetes management. The above information is NOT medical advice.