Physical activity is important for everyone, more so for those with diabetes. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people with pre-diabetes, diabetes and the general adult public should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days.
When a diabetic is physically active, his body becomes more attuned to the action of insulin, which in turn helps control the blood glucose level in his body. Moving the body about regularly also helps reduce body fat, again allowing insulin to work more effectively.
Additionally, regular workout strengthens the heart, reduces body weight, stimulates blood circulation, improves blood pressure and generally improves diabetics’ total well-being. In the long-term, it’s their protection against heart disease and stroke.
Don’t exactly fancy seriously sweating out the usual way? Here are some simple, fun yet effective ways to activate the body. These ideas are particularly good for those who haven’t exercised for a long time.
Vacuuming, mopping the floor, cleaning dishes, ironing clothes and washing the car can help activate the body. To reduce boredom, wear a headphone to listen to your favourite music while you work. Dance to the tune to move the body more!
Play with Kids
Play with kids at home! Give them rides on your back, dance with them or even indulge in a game of tag or hide and seek. You not only work out some sweat, you get to spend quality time with the family too.
Take Care of Pets
Pets love attention too. Take the dog for long walks or play fetch with him. Bathe the cat and blow-dry her fur afterwards. Clean the fish tank. Anything that doesn’t allow you to be idle for long periods of time is good for your body.
Use Exercise Videos
Yes, move the arms, legs, hips and bums as you play the exercise video that you like. Turn and twist to the music and instructions from the exercise guru on the TV screen. Before you know it, 30 minutes of workout has been completed. It’s that effective!
Climb Up and Down the Stairs
Those who live in double- or multiple-story houses should make good use of the stairs. Use every opportunity to go and down the stairs. Bring things up and down in batches instead of just one trip. If possible, make it a point to go up and down at least 10 times a day. That eliminates the need for a step climber machine!
Tend to the Garden
Activities like pulling out weeds, moving soil, planting new flowers, watering plants and raking leaves will work out a sweat. The reward – a beautifully tended and neat garden – will feed the soul too. That’s killing two birds with one stone.
Avoid Using the Remote Control
Don’t be a couch potato. Get up to change the channel on the TV or turn down the volume. Say “NO” to the TV remote control.
Turn Shopping into a Workout
Walk to shops if they are within walking distance. If you have to drive, take the furthest parking spot. Walk briskly around the aisles and carry a few shopping bags. Be sure not to strain the back, though.
These easy tips are a good start for those who have been sedentary for a while. Those who wish to exercise more seriously later on should consult their doctor to determine their fitness level. Until then, work it out and have fun at home!