Let’s Get Physical!
Being physical does not mean go out and run a marathon. There are several different ways that you can get the physical activity needed when living with type 2 diabetes. When living diabetes, aerobic exercise and strength training are two types of physical activity that are most important, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
- Aerobic Exercise- Aerobic exercise helps your body, not only us insulin better, but it makes your heart and bones stronger, relieves stress, improves blood circulation, and reduces your risk for heart disease by lowering your blood sugar and blood pressure. This overall improves your cholesterol levels. Aiming to get 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise at least five days/150 minutes per week is recommended by the ADA. Remember- moderate intensity means that you are working hard enough that you can talk, but not sing, during the activity!
- Strength Training- Strength training makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower your blood sugar levels. It can help build and maintain strength in both your muscles and bones. This reduces your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. The ADA recommends doing some type of strength training at least two times per week for about 45 minutes, along with aerobic activity.
What Can You Do?
Aerobic Exercise: Brisk walking, swimming/water aerobics, playing tennis, hiking, bicycling (indoors and outdoors), jogging or running, or stair climbing. The possibilities are endless, just make sure you ENJOY what you are doing!
Strength Training: Resistance bands, weight machines, free weights, using your own body weight (push-ups, squats, lunges, etc.) or classes that involve strength training.