Fall into some good habits: Take a hike!By
In almost every corner of the country, fall signals a beautiful change in outside scenery or a reprieve from hot or cold conditions. Walking may be just the ticket for those looking to increase their exercise and physical activity.
Walking is one of the most highly recommended forms of physical activity for people with diabetes. It requires very little preparation and cost. It can be done practically anywhere – parks, malls, and in the street or the woods.
Take good care of your feet and they will take care of you. You might not spend a lot, but invest in good walking shoes. The shoes need to fit comfortably, with plenty of room in the toe area. They should not rub at the heel. Some walking shoes include an extra pair of eyelets close to your ankle. Lacing these may help prevent heel friction. Make sure your walkers have flatter, broader soles, which help improve balance.
Wear good socks. Cotton socks can bunch and retain moisture. Check out newer synthetic fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin.
A regular walk will be an effective way to control blood pressure. People living with diabetes should consider these tips from About Health magazine before taking off.
- Begin slowly and easily. Walking just 5 or 10 minutes on the first day is perfectly acceptable if that’s all you can accomplish. The important thing is to not get injured or sore, which could end a walking campaign at the starting line.
- Add 5 or 10 minutes per week. As one continues to improve, aim for 45 minutes to an hour, five to seven days per week. That’s an ideal amount of time for blood glucose maintenance. However, health benefits begin to accrue at just 30 minutes per day.
- Break it up. Several 10- to 15-minute sessions are just as effective as one longer walk.
- Count your steps. During the last few years, pedometers — small devices that clip to the belt to count steps — have become popular. They can help track total steps taken on daily walks, or all day long. Recording walking totals can be motivating.
- Find a place to walk. If one’s neighborhood is unsafe, limit walking to daytime, walk in groups or try a nearby school track, community center or shopping mall.