Challenges as, “Take 1 million steps in 3 months”, try to animate people with diabetes to move more and show that there are no limitations for anyone diagnosed. On the contrary!
Several studies have shown several health benefits of exercise for both types of diabetes, T1 and T2.
You most probably won´t cure your diabetes but you can definitely better your situation and improve your general health, with adding some leverage exercises in your daily routine. You´re definitely not powerless in the battle against your diabetes and exercise does so much!
We want to believe that when managed right, these life-threatening complications can be avoid and you can stay healthy also with the diagnosis diabetes. In case that that all sounds surreal and you´re still skeptical if its worth, adding some daily exercise or maybe only a 20 min walk, to your habits, here are some facts that should make your skepticism disappear.
Glucose is mainly stored in your muscles!
Yes, you read right. The main storage for glucose are our muscles. After a meal, blood glucose will go to the muscles and the liver first, only when they are full, your fat cells will store the extra.
Therefore it is so important to encourage the help of your muscles. Without them it´s very difficult to manage your blood sugar successfully. Activate your muscles and make them “thirstier” for glucose by regular work outs. This will make them more sensitive to insulin and make it easier to clear glucose out of your blood. Because if your muscles are full and don´t accept any further glucose, they resist the action of insulin and the remaining glucose will linger in your blood.
You might have experienced heavy legs and swollen feet because of poor blood flow. Non-binding diabetes socks should alleviate the pressure in your foot or leg, but let me tell you a long lasting way to good blood circulation, also in your legs and feet: Move! Of course this socks might help and be a big support, but don´t forget that already a 30 minutes walk a day will help your body to manage blood circulation so much.
Enough about the theory and the WHY you should get moving, let´s focus on HOW you´ll do it!
Start off easy and bring in some movements in your daily habits. For example, if you have the possibility to walk to your work, then do so! You live in the 3rd floor? Excellent. Take the stairs instead of the elevator (You´ll be even faster ;-)). You´re always feeling tired after your lunch break? Go for a 10 minute walk after lunch and the fresh air will beware you from feeling sleepy afterwards. If you´re having a sedentary work, try to get up for a moment, every 1-2 hour, just to stimulate your blood circulation and to prevent swollen feet. Doing any amount of activity can be beneficial. If you like gardening, get creative and make it to your active hobby. Even housework involves physical activity.
Research shows, that reducing your sitting time by 25% can have a significant influence.
All these small changes can already have great impact in the beginning. When you´re then starting to feel better and fitter, try to bring in some moderate physical activity. Moderate-intensity activity will raise your heart rate, make you breath faster and you will start to get warm. During this kind of activity you still should be able to talk. It will bring you slightly out of breath, this means that your actively boosting your metabolism.
Slowly increase your muscle mass
We have to force our muscles to part their glucose reserve, so they ask for more, and all new glucose you ingest goes directly to your muscles. Typical cardio exercises don´t really force your body to build more muscle mass, and most of it is done mainly using the leg muscles. The more muscles are forced to work, the better the result and increased storage capacity for glucose. Therefore we should combine cardio with some specific exercise.
If you´re starting with strength work, look for the most complete exercises, that as many muscle parts as possible. By the way they also save time as with two exercises you can already do the greatest part of your body.
Do squats! Squats can be challenging at the beginning and already after few repetitions take you out of breath. Therefore start with simply getting out and sitting back in your chair. Concentrate on the movement and keep your back straight. Also try to keep your abs tight. When you feel your legs getting tired, rest for 1:30 and start again. Repeat 3 times. Squats are a super complete exercise, you even will work your abs by doing them.
To focus more on your upper body, I recommend you push ups. Start by doing them from the wall or the kitchen counter. The further you step away from the wall or counter, the higher the difficult level gets. And again, do as many repetitions as you can, rest for 1:30, and repeat 3 times.
Simple, fast and effective.
You can do these exercises at home, and anytime. Always remember to include movement and increase intensity gradually. But most of all: Enjoy it!
But before starting any kind of exercise, also inform your doctor about it and make the necessary check ups to be sure to have constant control. I´m sure your doctor will be happy to give you all the help and support necessary and just as excited as you´ll be when first positive results are seen. 🙂 To assure better control while exercising, and without thinking about checking every other minute, your GlucoSentry bracelet will do the thinking for you! It has been tested while exercising most definitely want harm you in any movements.
And always remember, a sedentary lifestyle doesn’t promote long-term health.
The GlucoNightWatch Team