If you live with type 2 diabetes, exercising regularly can help you manage your blood sugar levels and weight. It may also help you reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, reduce cardiovascular risk factors, and promote overall health. Exercise can also help prevent the development of diabetes in people who have prediabetes. The benefits of exercising are independent of weight loss. Not sure where to start? Here are 6 exercises that can help you reach your fitness goals.
Brisk Walking Is a Mild Activity With Major Benefits
If you don’t have an exercise routine in place, start with walking. All you need is a good pair of shoes and somewhere to go. Walking is probably one of the most prescribed activities for people with type 2 diabetes. Walking at a quicker clip 30 minutes per day five days per week will help you reach the recommended goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.
Tai Chi Reduces Stress and Improves Balance
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition; participants flow through a series of movements performed in a slow and relaxed manner along with deep breathing. This is an effective way for people with type 2 diabetes to manage their blood glucose and A1C levels. Tai chi is ideal for people with diabetes because it provides fitness and stress reduction in one.
Weight Training Is Necessary for Maintaining Muscle
Weight training builds muscle mass, important for those with type 2 diabetes. If you lose muscle mass, you have a lot harder time maintaining your blood sugar. Plan for resistance exercise or weight training at least twice a week as part of your diabetes management plan.
Yoga Reduces Stress for Blood Sugar Control
Yoga can help reduce stress and manage the condition. When stress levels go higher, so do your blood sugar levels. One of the advantages of yoga as an exercise is that you can do it as often as you like. The more you do yoga, the better your body will be. Exercise helps lessen depressive symptoms in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Swimming Is a Low-Impact Exercise That Feels Good
Swimming is another aerobic exercise — and an ideal one for people with type 2 diabetes because it doesn’t put pressure on your joints. Being buoyed by the water is less stressful on your body compared to walking or jogging. Type 2 diabetes can lead to foot complications, including neuropathy. Because neuropathy can lead to loss of feeling in the foot, you can purchase water shoes to protect your feet in the pool.
Stationary Bicycling Is a Convenient Way to Burn Calories
Bicycling is also a form of aerobic exercise, one that makes your heart stronger and your lungs function better, and is a calorie burner to boot. Just riding a few times per week as a casual mode of transportation was found to reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and triglyceride levels. To cycle, you don’t even need to leave your house: A stationary bike can be helpful because you can do it inside, no matter the weather.
Regular physical activity is important, not only for managing type 2 diabetes but also for promoting your overall health. Importantly, talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine. They can help you learn how to stay safe and minimize your risk of injury while meeting your fitness goals.