December 22, 2022
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Movement is essential for managing type 2 diabetes. Get a headstart on your fitness-related New Year’s resolutions by incorporating these tips into your daily routine.
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and as someone living with diabetes for over 20 years, I try to eat a well-balanced diet. But nutrition isn’t the only factor that encourages me to keep the doctor away — so is movement in any form.
Regular physical activity is essential to managing diabetes. When you’re active, your blood cells become more sensitive to insulin, which helps to lower your blood glucose levels more effectively.
With only a few weeks until the new year, you might be tempted to put off any new plans, but now is a great time to start moving more.
With extra trips to the grocery store to buy ingredients for holiday favorites and stops at your favorite retailer for gifts for family and friends already on your schedule, you’re already going to be moving more, so why not make it a habit? Here are some tips to get started.
No matter your occupation, there are ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. For example, if you drive to the office daily, consider parking as far away from the door as possible to add extra steps to your walk. Likewise, if your office is located in a building with more than one floor, consider taking the stairs rather than an elevator. When it’s time to chat with a colleague about your favorite new streaming show, why not walk and talk instead of standing around the water cooler?
Whether you work from home or in an office, consider investing in a standing desk, which can be adjusted to different heights. You can even use a treadmill while at your desk, which allows for more movement.
Other ways to implement movement at your desk include doing leg lifts under your desk, doing pushups against the wall or desk, and using mini exercise bikes that allow you to pedal off the miles during long conference calls.
The easiest way to start something new is simply to take the first step. While a great option, you don’t have to have a workout plan designed by a personal trainer or buy expensive exercise equipment to see results at home.
Like to watch TV or stream the latest series? Try to make it a habit to get off the couch and move during the commercial breaks or pause the show halfway in. You can also make it a goal not to watch more than one episode in a row without getting up.
No matter your occupation, there are ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine.
Most of the time, I try to get my daily walk in during a single period, but some days when I lack motivation, I’ll walk in shorter bursts. One fun trick I use several days a week is walking while my Keurig brews my coffee. It takes 3 minutes to warm up and 2 minutes to brew a cup, so drinking 2 cups in the morning means I’ve walked 10 minutes, a third of my daily goal.
You don’t have to join a gym, attend a class, or buy expensive equipment. With so many opportunities online or from streaming services, it’s easy to find an activity to keep you interested. A quick search online and you can find free workouts in various forms — yoga, Pilates, dance workouts, walking workouts, exercises you can do while seated, and more.
And if you find yourself becoming bored, switch the channel and try something else. Living life with type 2 diabetes can be challenging, but consistency is key. As long as you’re moving in some way, you’re reaping the benefits.
A diabetes diagnosis can come at any stage during your life. The disease doesn’t care about your social status, where you live, or your favorite streaming platform, and if you don’t take it seriously, it can cause serious problems down the road.
Everyone lives with stress, but those with a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes can sometimes have more stress than someone who doesn’t because of the effort it takes to keep it under control. And if there’s one thing folks with diabetes can tell you, it’s that stress makes our blood sugar readings high.
Living life with type 2 diabetes can be challenging, but consistency is key.
Movement in any form can help to reduce stress. Listening to an upbeat song on the way to work, hitting up your favorite playlist while waiting in the carpool line at school, tapping your fingers, or even busting out a few moves from the driver’s seat can amp up your endorphins.
Besides lowering your glucose levels, regular movement helps your cardiovascular system and can help you lose weight. Exercise can also lower cholesterol, strengthen bones and muscles, and reduce anxiety. In addition, taking a proactive approach to managing your disease goes a long way in staving off complications like nerve damage and kidney problems.
The holidays are a busy time for many people, and starting something new might not be at the top of your to-do list. You might think making a resolution will guarantee your success, but most new year’s resolutions fail within the first few weeks. By starting now, you could very well be on your way to a healthier you. I can’t think of a better way to start a new year.
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