Written by: Louise Borzcik, RD, CD, CDE, certified diabetes educator, Agnesian HealthCare
Physical activity, at least 30 minutes a day, is important for everyone! However, for people with diabetes, consistent physical exercise does a lot of good things!
- Helps insulin work better. Insulin is what takes the sugar out of your blood and into your cells where it works as energy.
- Improves your blood circulation and tones your muscles.
- Lowers not only blood glucose (or sugar), but also your blood pressure and cholesterol too (so good for your heart!).
- Relieves stress. Increased stress can increase your blood sugars, so exercise can help ease your load mentally.
- Lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Keeps your body and your joints flexible (so you can do more with less pain).
- Walk instead of drive whenever possible.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator, even if it’s just for one floor.
- Work in the garden, rake leaves, shovel snow, wash the car, scrub your floors.
- Play with the kids.
- Carry things upstairs in two trips instead of one.
- Park at the far end of the parking lot and walk a little further.
- Have an unorganized grocery list and walk back and forth in the store a little longer.
- Walk at the mall during the winter (leave your wallet in the car!).
- Use TV commercial time to do arm and leg exercises or to walk in place.
- Put some music on and dance to your favorite tunes!
- Try some strength training with light weights and/or stretch bands to remain stronger.
Agnesian HealthCare offers a free diabetes support group in both Fond du Lac and Ripon for individuals with diabetes or those who care about someone with diabetes. For more information on this program, or any of the programs at Agnesian HealthCare, call (920) 926-4530 or register at agnesian.com/programs.