Nervous to start a new workout routine? Don’t be! An expensive gym membership or advanced fitness classes are not necessary to get started moving. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, what matters most is that you accumulate 150 minutes of activity per week.
Exercise is crucial for people with type 2 diabetes. Control blood sugar levels, increase energy levels, improve heart health, and promote emotional well-being with regular exercise. Trust us — you will gain strength and reach a point when moving your body feels good.
We’ve outlined four types of exercises to manage type 2 diabetes, all equal in importance. By including regular exercise from each category, you can maximize your fitness level and prevent injury.
Strength training exercise uses resistance to build your muscles, increasing lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism and causes you to burn calories at a faster rate. This also helps keep your blood glucose levels in check. As you grow stronger, your muscles can store more glucose, and your body can then better regulate its blood sugar levels. The amount of insulin you need in your body reduces along with your fat-to-muscle ratio. Strength-training includes lifting weights, working with resistance bands, heavy gardening, such as digging and shoveling, climbing stairs, or cycling.
Balance exercises help you take control of your body’s stability. People with diabetes may be more at risk of balance issues, especially those with nerve damage in the feet. Yoga and tai chi are both wonderful techniques that encompass balance-training and provide the tools needed to help balance your center of gravity, while also improving glycemic control.
Aerobic exercise is rhythmic and gets the heart beating faster. When cardio exercise is regularly completed, it can aid the body significantly in processing blood sugar levels. Plus, these activities are fun and can turn into healthy habits while also providing opportunities to connect to your community. Aerobic exercises include: jogging, walking, hiking, bicycling, dancing, swimming, etc — whatever gets your heart rate up and makes you breathe harder.
Stretching is incredibly valuable when managing type 2 diabetes: you improve flexibility of your joints, blood flow, range of motion, and prevent injury. Some practices, such as yoga, include flexibility, balance, and strength-building exercise. Sounds like a win-win!