How to Start Your Exercise Routine
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MICHAEL SMITHWhen you have diabetes exercise is so important for a couple of reasons. It's going to help you control your blood sugar. It's also going to help prevent heart disease, which is a leading problem in people with diabetes.
If you have diabetes, you need to include three important types of exercise. There's cardio, or aerobics, you may have heard. Weight resistance, or weight training. And also stretching. Each of those is equally important, and really something you need to do regularly in order to really have the real impact on your diabetes.
You know, when you hear cardio, it can be any number of activities. It can be simply walking, or even jogging. It can be dancing. It can be working in the yard doing a little garden work.
If you're so inclined, join a sports team. There are a lot of adult oriented sports teams that you can join. It can really be anything that gets your heart rate up a little bit, gets you breathing a little bit harder. That's going to ultimately make you healthier.
If you're not doing cardio now, just start with a simple walking program, walking a few minutes a day. Ultimately you want to work up to 30 minutes a day, five days a week. But I always recommend that you start slow and go slow. Don't do too much at the beginning.
In addition to cardio, you definitely want to do some weight training. Just about a couple of days a week you want to work out all the muscles in your body. But again, start with light weights. Something simple. It can be as simple as bicep curls.
You can get a good full body weight resistance workout with actually no weights at all. You do not need to go to the gym. You can do bodyweight exercises, like push ups, even doing one pull up. Because that's going to actually help your metabolism, which means you're going to burn more calories throughout the day.
Stretching is a really important part of your overall exercise program. It's going to help you keep limber, help you stay flexible, and it's also going to help you prevent injury as you get more and more active.
A wonderful way to work stretching into your exercise routine is yoga. You're going to get actually cardio activity as well as muscle building.
If you need to drop a few extra pounds, although exercise alone may not get you to your goal, when combined with a healthy diet it's one of your best treatments for diabetes and will get you well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.