Updated: Jan 27
As we know, eating a balanced and healthy diet and getting daily physical activity can help maintain and improve our overall health. But, we don't always know where to begin. Making simple and small adjustments to our daily routine, especially when it comes to physical fitness, is key to reducing symptoms and risks of diabetes and other diseases.
In last week's blog post, we discussed the importance of resistance training. This week, we focus on aerobic activity.
Aerobic exercise is continuous movement (such as walking, bicycling or jogging) that raises your heart rate and breathing.
Benefits of Aerobic Activity
In general, physical activity has a number of benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, controlling your weight, and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. For diabetics, physical activity also helps:
improved fitness, health, and body composition
reduced complications of diabetes such as the lowered risk of heart disease
improved diabetes, including blood sugar, blood fats, and blood pressure
Most individuals starting out on a fitness routine try to aim for 150 minutes per week of physical activity. This can be spread out over 5 days of 30min each day or in longer segments depending on your ability. Oftentimes, just adding 10 minutes of physical activity to your daily routine can improve overall wellness.
Before beginning any fitness routine, always speak to your doctor or medical practioner.
Types of Aerobic Activity
Unlike resistance training, aerobic activity does not always require special equipment. In fact, simply walking outdoors in your community or walking indoors at your local shopping center or indoor track can be just as beneficial to your overall fitness as using special equipment.
However, depending on your mobility and fitness level, using equipment such as treadmills or stationary bikes is a great way to add variety, or work a number of different muscles.
Additional activities that you may already be doing, such as golfing, gardening, yoga, swimming, dancing, or stretching exercises, are excellent ways to manage your diabetes and increase your fitness ability.
When it comes to aerobic activity like walking, jogging, or cycling, intensity is key. You may begin at a low-intensity level, such as with yoga or an easy walk, where your perceived exertion or energy level is at a lower rate than if you were to perform a gym routine, run, or play a sport.
Always choose the exercise that is right for you. Do not over-exert yourself. Take it slow and build up activities as you get stronger and more confident in the routine, posture, balance, and form. Remember, physical activity doesn't have to be hard. In fact, doing something you love can make it fun for you and your family or friends!
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