PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PLANNING
Two types of physical activity is recommended for managing diabetes: aerobic exercise and strength training.
Aerobic exercise helps your body use insulin better. It makes your heart and bones strong, relieves stress, improves blood circulation, and reduces your risk for heart disease by lowering blood glucose and blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.
It is recommended to aim for 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week or a total of 150 minutes per week. The activity should be carried for at least 3 days during the week and try not to go more than 2 days in a row without exercise.
NOTE: Moderate intensity means that you are working hard enough that you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. Vigorous intensity means you cannot say more than a few words without pausing for a breath during the activity.
If you haven't been very active recently, you can start out with 5 or 10 minutes a day. Then, increase your activity sessions by a few minutes each week. Over time, you'll see your fitness improve, and you'll find that you're able to do more.
FIND THE TIME
If a 30-minute exercise is not possible during the day, you have the option to break it up into bouts of 10 minutes or more. Research indicates similar health benefits when you do this.
For example, you might take a brisk 10-minute walk after each meal. Or you could try doing 15 minutes of aerobics in the morning before work and another 15 minutes when you get home.
If you are trying to lose weight and keep it off, most people need to do closer to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day.
Below are some examples of aerobic activities:
- Brisk walking (outside or inside on a treadmill)
- Bicycling / Stationary cycling indoors
- Low-impact aerobics
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Playing tennis
- Stair climbing
- Jogging / Running
- Ice or roller-skating
Strength training (also called resistance training) makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood sugar. It helps to maintain and build strong muscles and bones, reducing your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.
The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – even when your body is at rest.
Preventing muscle loss by strength training is also the key to maintaining an independent lifestyle as you age.
Recommendation is to do some type of strength training at least 2 times per week in addition to aerobic activity.
EXAMPLES OF STRENGTH TRAINING ACTIVITIES:
- Weight machines or free weights at the gym
- Using resistance bands
- Lifting light weights or objects like canned goods or water bottles at home
- Calisthenics or exercises that use your own body weight to work your muscles (examples are pushups, sit ups, squats, lunges, wall-sits and planks)
- Classes that involve strength training