Archive for March 6th, 2013
If you are living with diabetes or caring for someone with diabetes, it’s important to understand that regular exercise is a part of the prescription for healthier living. Some form of physical activity helps one feel and look better, but it also has a positive impact on blood sugar levels much like the effect of insulin on the body.
Not all exercise is the same, but there’s something there for all body types and fitness levels whether you are running a marathon or a reformed couch potato. The four recognized types of exercise are cardio, resistance, flexibility and functional.
Cardiovascular exercise, also called cardio or aerobic exercise is physical activity which raises the heart rate to around 60 to 85 percent of the heart’s maximum heart rate for an extended period of time, usually twenty minutes or longer. Examples are walking, biking, dancing, fitness class, water exercises and elliptical trainer.
Resistance exercises are part of resistance training, a type of strength training. Resistance training works to increase muscle strength and endurance by doing repetitive exercises. Examples are: thera-bands, free weights and machine weights.
Flexibility exercises increase a person’s ability of your joints to move through a full range of motion. Having flexibility in your muscles allows for more movement around the joints and that means better posture, less muscle tension and soreness, reduced risk of injury and more relaxation for the mind and body. Examples are: yoga, Pilates and general stretching.
Functional exercises involve motor skills such as balance, gait and agility. “Functional fitness” has become a recent buzzword in gyms. It’s about training your body to handle real-life situations. Examples are yoga, Tai Chi, ladder training or a BOSU Balance Trainer.
These exercises can be done at home, outdoors or in facilities like gyms or health club. It is recommended that you speak to your physician to discuss the best possible plan for you and how it will affect your diabetes.
Diabetes Management & Supplies offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services that include the expertise of an exercise physiologist. For more information on specific exercise needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.