If you have diabetes and you start exercising, you might find the added benefit of having a decreased insulin need. Because when you’re exercising, your body doesn’t need as much insulin to take up glucose. So it’s very important to talk to your doctor about when you start your exercise program because your insulin needs are going to change over time and you may need to lower your dose.
The first thing you need to know is that being sedentary is almost never safe for a person with diabetes. One of the things that I recommend to my patients is to start low, go slow, and titrate up. That means getting at least 3,000 steps in a day. If you can make that, then the next goal is to get 10,000 steps in a day. Also very important is weightlifting because that helps generate more muscle tissue, which improves your metabolism. Finally, I really like yoga because this is a great stress reducer and stress can definitely affect your blood sugar.
Exercise is one of the best prescriptions you can take for diabetes. When you’re exercising, your muscle cells don’t need insulin to take in blood glucose. Furthermore, exercise makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
Weightlifting is one of the best ways you can get in shape, but it is very important to make sure not to hurt yourself in the process. So I recommend starting very simple with something like the “7 Minute Workout.” It’s a few exercises using your body weight and if you can accomplish that, you can move on to something more rigorous. The next thing I’d recommend is that you go to a gym, talk to a trainer, and learn a few different exercises with dumbbells and barbells. A typical weightlifting regimen consists of 6-8 exercises with 12-15 reps each at a weight you can comfortably lift. Over time, you’ll find yourself getting stronger and you’ll be able to lift more weight.
Aerobic exercise requires oxygen; things like running, swimming, and cycling. On the other hand, anaerobic exercise doesn’t require oxygen; things like weightlifting. But which is best for diabetes? The research really shows that the best thing for diabetes is to do both, because both have different benefits for your body.
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