It’s Spring Time so Get Outside and Move!
Much of our nation experienced winter extremes this season, with unusually low temperatures reaching deep into the south and record-breaking snows blanketing much of the country. I, for one, am thankful for warmer days that lure me outdoors to enjoy springtime activities in the wonderful fresh air. I will always choose throwing on a jacket for a walk outdoors over racking up climate-controlled miles on an indoor treadmill.
In my recent post Tips for Making Healthy Food Choices, I mentioned that the USDA’s latest dietary guidelines emphasize the importance of physical activity in addition to good nutrition. Everyone should incorporate physical activity into their day, but it’s especially important for people with diabetes. That’s because being active helps your body be more sensitive to insulin. Activity also uses glucose for energy, lowering your blood sugar level. And that’s just the start. You can read more about the benefits of an active lifestyle at the American Diabetes Association web site.
As I engage with the DOC, I’ve learned many of you lead incredibly active lives and are committed to your fitness routine. If you haven’t started a fitness routine or want to increase the activity in your life, here are a few important tips from the ADA:
Being physically active may not be as hard as you think. Are there activities you enjoy that fall into any of these three types? Take a look:
- Aerobic activities include those that raise your heart rate, use your muscles, and make you breathe harder. Walking, dancing, bicycling, skating, swimming, and water exercise are examples of aerobic activities.
- Strength training uses light weights, elastic bands, or even easy-to-hold household items to work your muscles and maintain bone health.
- Stretching helps keep your joints flexible and may reduce your risk of injury from other activities. You might think of yoga or tai chi when you think of flexibility exercise, but it can be as simple as gently stretching each of your joints several times each day.
Be sure to discuss any exercise program with your doctor before you begin, to make sure you selected the right activities for your level of fitness. Whatever you choose, mix it up and have fun. And if you’ve found one you enjoy, share with others in the DOC. Post a comment below or share on our Facebook page.