Regular physical activity keeps diabetes in control. How much exercise is needed to manage diabetes? Are certain exercises more effective?
Physical Exercise for Better Diabetes Management
People with diabetes can keep themselves active with physical activity as it is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar in control. It will make you feel better and reduce your risk of complications.
Benefits of Physical Activities
- Improve your body’s ability to use insulin
- Improve your blood pressure
- Improve your cholesterol level
- Lowers risk of osteoporosis
- Control or maintain your body weight
- Improve muscle strength and tone
- Reduce stress
Types of physical activity you can try
- Aerobic exercise eg: brisk walking, swimming, cycling etc
- Strength straining eg: hand weights, elastic bands etc
- Keep active throughout the day eg: walk around at home, mopping floor etc
- Stretching exercises to improve the flexibility of joints
How much and how long should I do?
- Frequency – at least three times per week
- Intensity* – able to talk during exercise
- Time – at least 20 to 30 minutes each time
- Types of exercise – choose an exercise that you enjoy doing
- There are certain exercises to avoid if you have diabetes-related complications.
- It is essential to discuss with your diabetes team on the types of exercises suitable for your condition.
How do I take care of my feet when engaging in physical activity?
- Wear a comfortable, well-fitting pair of shoes with cotton socks that are designed for the physical activity you are doing.
- Check your feet before and after each exercise.
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible if you have cuts, sores or blisters on your feet.
* It is advisable to build up the intensity of your exercise slowly.
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