In addition to your diet, the best thing you can do to keep your diabetes in check is to walk regularly.
But, as you know, a simple scrape can turn into a lot more trouble. So, first start by making sure it’s okay to walk or do your desired form of exercise by checking with your doctor.
Once you’re cleared and ready to go, or even if you’re simply considering beginning regular exercise, here’s why (and how) you might do it:
1. First: The Benefits
Walking does a lot more for you than it seems as first. If you’re diabetic, you may be most interested in that walking improves your body’s ability to use insulin, and that it also lowers blood glucose levels.
It also strengthens your muscles and bones, which means you have a much lower risk of experiencing a simple injury that turns into something far worse.
And on top of all that, you also reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. You lower your stress levels. You raise your good cholesterol and reduce your bad cholesterol.
If you walk with a friend, you get to enjoy time with them too.
2. How to Begin
No need to set huge goals at first. Simply start by finding ways to take more steps during the day.
You can use a pedometer or Fitbit to help you and make it more interesting. Fitbit has a number of social features that allow you to compete with friends or to achieve your own challenges. Depending on the model you get, you can also monitor your heart rate and sleep.
3. Step It Up
After your body feels used to walking, you’re ready to move on to aerobic exercise. You may want to talk with your podiatrist prior to beginning more rigorous activity.
When you first begin, make sure to do light stretching to get your muscles ready. Do about 5 minutes of light walking at first to warm-up, and then another 5 minutes after your faster walking to cool down.
When you do walk faster, use proper form. That means making sure your heel hits the ground first. Then, the rest of your foot should follow.
Consciously swing your arms. Your chin should be up, and your shoulders back. Watch for potholes and uneven surfaces so you don’t trip and sprain your ankle.
4. Increase Your Endurance
Believe it or not, “race walking” has been an event in the Summer Olympics since 1956. It gets almost no publicity. The longest event goes 50 km, or slightly more than 31 miles.
Go ahead and watch some YouTube videos to find out more about it!
Anyway, the point is that walking can be quite a serious, beneficial thing. You don’t have to walk 31 miles in a single crack.
But when you walk longer distances, like a few miles, and at a higher pace, you win even more personal benefits.
You can get rid of higher stress levels if you have quite a stressful life. You can lose weight.
It’s hard work, but it only makes your life better.
Make sure you monitor your blood sugar levels before, during, and after your workout. Increase the distance you walk by 15 minutes each week, until you get to a manageable time and distance that improves your life the way you want.
Should you walk? Absolutely. You simply have a few additional things to look out for, but the benefits more than make up for any of the risks.
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