Let’s get physical!
Exercising increases the amount of glucose used by the muscles for energy, so can lower blood glucose levels. Looking after yourself when you have diabetes means increasing your physical activity as well as managing your diet and taking your medication. They are all equally important in controlling your blood sugar levels. The Health Development Agency recommends moderate activity such as 30 minutes brisk walking 5 times a week.
Exercising doesn’t have to mean joining a gym or training for a marathon (although it’s great if you choose to!), there are lots of easy ways to increase your physical activity. Why not try some of our tips below:
- Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator when you can.
- Park further away at the supermarket and make your walk just a little bit longer.
- Join a class – many gyms offer exercise classes for all levels. Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi are also great options which can improve your health and wellbeing, as well as your strength, balance and flexibility!
- Dancing is a great way to get moving, as well as meet new people and have fun!
- Gardening may be a part of your weekly routine, if so its a great way to get some physical activity.
- Swimming or aqua aerobics are great forms of exercise – as you’re supported by the water, it also takes the pressure off of your joints!
- Walking is a great (and free) option. There are many ways to try and walk more, such as walking to work or walking your or a friends dog. Why not try getting off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way? There are also many local walking groups in your area which can be a great way to meet others and explore the great outdoors!
Physical activity is all about finding what suits you best. For some people, using technology, be it smartphones or smartwatches, can help them stay on track to reach their goals. In the video below, some patients discuss how they use technology to help manage their diabetes.
For more information about exercise and ways to increase your physical activity see NHS website.