Adding some form of movement and exercise to your weekly routine won’t just make you lighter, it could also help stabilize your blood sugar and improve your diabetes. This is one tip most doctors swear by.
Regular exercise is known to help lower your HbA1c values and fight insulin resistance. And the bonus? Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels will improve, you’ll have more energy and strength, and feel more upbeat. So get moving today, keeping these 4 points in mind!
1. Get The Combo Right: Cardio + Strength Training
STEP 1: Start with some aerobic activity like walking, cycling, jogging, or swimming. These exercises help lower insulin resistance and blood pressure and the overall health of your heart. They will even lift your mood.
STEP 2: Lift weights or exercise with resistance bands twice a week to add muscle mass to your body, boost bone strength, and cut down on excess fat. Resistance training also helps improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin and lower blood glucose levels.
2. Keep It Steady With The Right Snacks
Exercise can lower your glucose levels if you don’t plan it properly, so make sure you fuel your workout. Generally, exercise 1–3 hours after a meal. Or grab a small snack before your workout – yes, this is when you need to snack! A slice of whole grain bread with home-made peanut butter for protein, a small serving of oats with low-fat yogurt, or a piece of fruit like guava are all great options. Time your snack so you eat about 15–30 minutes before your workout.
Round off your workout with a light snack in 15 minutes – a handful of trail mix, a granola bar, or whole-wheat crackers with some hung curd or paneer should do the trick.
3. Stand Up, Move About
Even otherwise, for every 30 minutes you sit or are sedentary, get back on your feet for 3–5 minutes. Stretch, walk about, or try some nifty leg lifts, side lunges, arm stretches, or torso twists. This will help keep your blood sugar steady and burn some calories, too.
4. Stick To The Plan!
- You need about 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week, so break it into chunks you can manage.
- Get a workout in at least 2–3 times a week and promise yourself you’ll never go more than 2 days without some activity.
- Warm up for at least 5 minutes before starting to loosen your limbs. Cool down at the end of your routine to stretch your muscles and avoid injury.
- Stay well hydrated not only before, during, and after your exercise but through the day – dehydration can cause your blood sugar to go haywire.
- If you start feeling dizzy or sick while exercising, take a break and drink or eat something. Keep a snack like dry fruits handy for an immediate boost.
Exercise is good for diabetes, Harvard Health
Diabetes and exercise, Mayo Clinic