For many people, healthy living might require sudden lifestyle changes. But if you’re a diabetic, the adjustment is very much worth the outcome. Regular physical activity is beneficial for diabetics because exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps in controlling blood sugar levels. Furthermore, heart.org points out that these healthy practices help lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading causes of death for diabetics. So, if you’re planning on incorporating exercise into your lifestyle, now is the time to start! These beginner-friendly fitness tips can guide you through your journey towards a healthier life.
Getting Started On Your Fitness Journey
Know The Right Time To Exercise
Exercise reduces the glucose levels in your body because your muscles need to consume blood sugar during the process. Thus, it is recommended that individuals with diabetes exercise at least an hour after their meals, which is when their blood sugar levels are relatively higher. This is especially important for individuals with type 2 diabetes, since they need to keep their glucose levels at around 160 mg/dL two hours after a meal. However, cdc.gov points out that if your blood sugar is below 100 mg/dL, then you should eat a snack with 15-30 grams of carbohydrates before exercising.
Monitor Your Levels And Progress
It is important for diabetics to keep track of their glucose levels before, during, and after each physical activity. Our article here on thediabetesapp.com emphasizes that this will help you gauge which exercises make your glucose levels drop or spike. This will help you make more informed decisions regarding which workouts would be best for your diabetes management. Furthermore, those with type 1 diabetes can also use these trackers as a guide for reaching their target blood glucose levels.
Start With Moderately Intense Workouts
It is recommended for adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This may seem like a huge commitment especially for beginners, but there are many solutions you can try to reach this goal. First, you have to look for a moderate-intensity workout that you will actually enjoy! This can be anything from more intensive exercises like dancing or cycling to less strenuous activities, such as brisk walking and yoga. Plus, you can also try allotting a few minutes of exercise per day, so you can slowly but surely hit the goal every week.
Support Your Fitness Journey With A Healthy Diet
Diabetics are especially careful with their diet, but your food consumption becomes increasingly important once you start to exercise. This is because your food intake can affect both your fitness journey and your disease. For instance, carbohydrates are essential sources of energy for exercise. However, those with type 1 diabetes need to count their carbohydrates to control their glucose levels, while type 2 diabetics may need to cut their consumption of simple carbohydrates to lose weight. Thus, it is highly recommended that diabetics consume healthier sources of carbs, such as beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. While these may seem like limited choices when it comes to food, weknowrice.com states that you can make a delicious mongolian bowl, chicken broth rice, and even a poached fruit to turn your healthy diet into a 5-star meal. You can also pair these healthy carbs with eggs, fish, and white meat, which are healthy sources of protein.
Live Healthily By Managing Your Stress
Diabetics need to take care of their mental health as it also affects their physical health. A study published on sciencedaily.com discovered the connection between stress hormones and higher glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The researchers emphasized that stress relief is a crucial part of disease management and that diabetics should practice self-care by taking yoga classes, reading a book, or getting enough rest. Your fitness journey will motivate you to improve your physical health, your diet, and even your mental health! These healthy transformations will boost the quality of your life by assisting you in diabetes management.
Aileen Conner is a stay-at-home mom of three rowdy boys and a freelance writer. She enjoys sharing health and wellness tips, as well as recipes that she personally enjoys. During her free time, she likes to meditate and tend to her indoor garden.