Diabetes is a serious condition and managing it is important.
You have to think about what you’re putting into your body, being sure to get the proper nutrients and avoiding the foods and drinks that will cause your blood sugar to spike.
But what you consume isn’t the whole story.
Did you know that a regular exercise routine can have a positive effect on your blood sugar?
Exercise and your blood sugar
Your blood sugar drops after you engage in physical activity for anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.
Exercise makes your muscles more receptive to insulin and enables them to absorb more glucose from the blood.
But, you need to keep in mind that the effects can vary from person to person.
In some cases, exercise will boost blood sugar.
The best way to find out how your body will respond is to test your blood sugar before, during, and after activity.
A note about blood pressure
Exercise has been proven to lower blood pressure, which is a benefit for you if you suffer from diabetes.
High blood pressure is linked to heart attacks, strokes, eye problems, kidney issues, and other common diabetes complications.
Starting a diabetes-friendly exercise routine
Understanding that physical activity is good for you doesn’t mean it’s an easy habit to develop.
Fortunately, there are some specific exercise strategies that are good for you if you have diabetes.
It’s important to mention that you consult your physician before beginning any exercise routine.
One approach is to use a step-counter of some kind and shoot for getting in 10,000 steps a day.
You have to find something that works for you.
The point is to get in 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least five days a week.
Understand that it may take you some time to build up to that, however, especially if you’re not a particularly active person.
If you’ve never had any kind of exercise routine before, your doctor will probably want to focus on your diet and possibly medication to get your blood sugar under control first.
Once your physician has given you the go-ahead, start with 5 to 10-minute walks as many days a week as you can.
Fair warning: it may not feel good right away!
Over time, you can increase the length of your walks and you’ll probably even start to enjoy the activity.
For the mobility impaired
If you are obese or have another issue that decreases your mobility, a special individualized exercise regimen may be right for you.
Ask around at your local hospitals to see if they have any programs that are specifically for the mobility-impaired.
It may include yoga for seniors, water aerobics, chair exercises, or Silver Sneakers activities, which may be covered by your Medicare plan.
Say goodbye to medication
There’s no guarantee that regular exercise will allow you to be taken off of or lower the dosage of your diabetes medication.
The important thing is to stick with it.
Even if you don’t reduce your need for medication, you’ll still enjoy the other benefits, such as a healthier heart, a clearer mind, and a lowered risk of stroke and other health issues common to seniors.
Take the time to care for YOU
Managing your blood sugar and the other effects of diabetes on your body can be difficult.
Embarking on an exercise regimen may give you just enough of a boost that you don’t need medication or to lower your dosage – always at the discretion of your physician, of course.
If you have questions about Silver Sneakers or any other benefits that are available to you through your Medicare plan, get in touch with UROne Benefits today.