Exercise is Key to Controlling Diabetes-start by Walking
Diabetes means that your blood sugar or glucose is too high. While your body uses glucose for energy, it’s bad for you to have too much sugar or glucose in your blood. When your glucose is balanced you’ll feel better and your risk will be lower for problems with your kidneys, eyes, teeth, nerves, legs and feet. By taking good care of yourself and avoiding diabetes you’ll also lower your risk for a heart attack or a stroke.
Recently there were two articles written about a new method of dealing with diabetes. Both articles were based on present results from large studies to find out whether aggressively lowering blood sugar improves health. Because they were in the “New England Journal of Medicine” they carried a lot of weight as a possible new treatment for diabetes. Unfortunately things are not always as they seem. Let’s take a look at what I’m talking about.
In one study, the Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease: Preterax and Diamicron Modified Release Controlled Evaluation (ADVANCE) trial claimed that a 21% less risk of developing kidney disease was due to the aggressive blood sugar treatment.
Unfortunately in the other article, the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes Study Group (ACCORD) trial reported that aggressive blood sugar control not only didn’t lower the risk of heart complications from diabetes, but that it also may have raised the risk of death.
I don’t know about you but that doesn’t seem like a very good treatment to me. Luckily one of the most effective ways to help you deal with diabetes is supplied by nature and available to all, but unfortunately its not used enough. The medicinal benefits are greater than many drugs while improving other risks that often are found with diabetes, such as high blood pressure and excess body fat. Other benefits are that it doesn’t costs much and gives your a better quality of life. What is this great benefit? Exercise!
Everybody gets benefit from exercise as long as it’s done right. Mainly this means exercising on a regular basis. Even if its a very moderate activity, its better that trying to do too much when you’re exercising on a sporadic schedule. Every reasonable treatment program for diabetes includes exercise. For exercise to effectively deal with your diabetes a commitment is essential. While the activity doesn’t have to be intense it does have to be on a regular basis.
While your health, time restraints, income, etc. will have a bearing on what type of exercise you engage in, my favorite is walking. This is something almost everyone can do and it’s free. You can set your own pace and while a brisk walk of an hour is probably the best, many people don’t have that much time so substitution and a number of shorter walks will be almost as beneficial. Remember any exercise is better than none.
Some substitutions for a long walk are:
1. Take a series of short walks, 10 minutes here and there add up.
2. If within reason take the stairs instead of elevator.
3. Park your car as far away you can and walk to work or shop.
4. Take a walk on your lunch hour.
5. While at work walk around as much as you can.
Stretching is another good exercise and is a good way to start your day. Even 5 minutes of stretching will be a benefit. You should always stretch before you go walking or engage in any other type of exercise.
Many times a person will start out by walking and then progress on to a more strenuous and perhaps more beneficial exercises. Everyone who can should be on some type of exercise regimen, no matter how short or easy it may be. It will help if you do have diabetes and might prevent your getting it if you don’t. Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise regiment, especially if it’s strenuous at all.