This is my final class until the end of July, but it was good. As a result of these classes, I have been able to get myself back on meal planning and getting pro-active with my doctor and now a great exercise goal.
Today was Exercise and it was the one thing that I was most in the dark about. So I found it very helpful for me.
We started out with a frightening fact. The health care system will spend $76.7 Billion because of sedentary lifestyles. Wow, that much on heart care, obesity, diabetes and cancers due to sittin' on our duffs. Man…we better get moving.
Here is what the Heart Association recommends we do to get our bodies healthy.
150 minutes of Exercise every week. That works out to 30 minutes at least 5 days, with 2 days being resistance training.
One of my Ah-ha moments today was that Activity does NOT equal Exercise. I always thought it did. Nope…exercise is something done with a purpose. Not just doing things around the house. It is a routine that involves maintaining or improving your physical fitness. Oh…no more counting the housework ladies. Bummer. LOL
Besides increasing your energy, toning your muscles and stress relief, one of the great things that exercise does is open the receptors of your cells to accept glucose without the aid of insulin. That is great news, specially for those of us with type 2. Now I understand why my numbers stay better when I am exercising regularly.
Also, with exercise most of us (not all) want to loose weight. Studies show that even as little as a 10% decrease in your weight will improve our BG numbers. So don't feel overwhelmed if you have a lot of weight to loose. If you are 200 pounds, 10% is only 20. Focus on that and take steps to get there. It is more manageable that way.
You also have to exercise with your complications in mind.
If you have Retinopathy or Nephropathy, you need to use caution doing anything that will cause pressure or strain. No heavy weight lifting for example. This could cause you to damage the fragile state of your eyes or kidneys.
If you have Neuropathy, you may need to avoid walking or running if you do not have balance or healthy sensation in your feet. This could cause you to fall and hurt yourself worse.
If you have Cardio complications, use caution in building up your blood pressure while exercising.
Swimming is one of the best exercises because it is usually low impact with great overall body use. If you have arthritis, you want to swim in warmer pools, but if you don't you should consider using a cooler pool for exercise to avoid overheating in a warm pool with a harder workout.
Your doctor can help you choose what is best for you and your conditions. But the one thing is, that you need to do something. Anything to get yourself improving. You will be amazed at how your body gets used to what you are doing and lifts your health to new heights.
Exercise will always make you better, so listen to your body. Don't kill it for a few weeks, then quit because it is too much. Take it slow. Set your pace, but always be moving in a progressive direction. This is something you will be doing for life, not just til you reach your weight goal or your control goal. It is a life long friend, live well with it.
A common question is "when" do we exercise? It is recommend to exercise AFTER a meal. Test before you go, and if you know you will drop about 50 points during exercise, make sure you have enough to drop that much. In other words, if you have a 72 BG before you exercise and you typically drop 30 points after your walk…you don't want a 42. Eat before, monitor after. And always have with you your glucose tabs or juice. Just in case. Just because you never had a low, doesn't mean it won't happen today. Be prepared.
There is a discussion here asking when to stretch. I always thought you did that first, but today I found you need a bit of a warm up before stretching. So do a little walking and shaking out your arms and some good breathing. You want to do this 1-2 minutes BEFORE you stretch. Then you are ready to roll at whatever you are choosing to do for your routine.
Select gear that fits correctly and is right for the exercise. Don't wear keds if you are walking. If you are doing water aerobics, wear watersocks in the pool to prevent roughing up your feet on the pool bottom. Make sure your socks don't leave lines at the ankles. If they do, you're reducing your circulation and you need to snip your elastic or stretch them out. Make sure your shoes have the support you need and there are not any rubbing points. Remember, most foot ulcers start with blisters. So that said… Make sure you check your feet after you exercise and look for any red spots to see how your socks and shoes are fitting.
It is up to us to get our bodies moving. You can exercise from a chair, from your bed if you have to. The point is to move your arms, extend your body, stretch out those muscles and make them work. If you don't they will waste away. And for every pound of muscle mass you loose, your body looses the ability to burn 50 calories. So build those muscles and make them work for you.
This is one of the few things you can control in the battle to control your diabetes. It can be fun. So take a buddy or a puppy or a walkman…and get out there.
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