Regular exercise plays a very important part in diabetes management. It helps with weight loss and also lowers blood glucose levels. There's another benefit to exercise, though: it lifts your spirits and makes you feel good.
Exercise doesn't have to be fancy or complicated. It can be as easy as a walk in the park. Are you up for a daily walk?
Here's what you need to know to get started.
Make sure your walking shoes fit properly. They should fit well with no rubbing or chafing. Good cotton socks will help absorb sweat and cushion your feet.
Although there's no need for fancy exercise clothing, make sure that what you wear is comfortable, with a looser fit for better mobility. It's better to layer clothing in the winter, so that you can remove a sweater or an extra shirt if you find that you are getting too warm.
It's OK to start slow. There's no need for a power walk right off the bat. If you haven't been moving much lately, a 10 minute daily walk is a good goal until you get used to walking. Gradually increase your walks to 30 or more minutes a day.
Having trouble scheduling 30 minutes out of your day? Thirty minutes is the length of an average television show. Sometimes finding more time is as simple as pushing a button on the remote.
Don't obsess about trying to get a walk in every single day. As long as you walk five times a week, you're still doing a good deed for your body.
Some people like to track their progress. Find a road map and tack it up on a wall. Pick a destination. For every mile you walk around your neighborhood, mark it off on the map. I know a woman who made it her goal to walk across America. She's never left her hometown, but on her map, she's already walked across three states.
- More Motivational Tips from About.com Guide to Walking
Having a busy day? Break up your half-hour walk into 10 minute short walks. Three mini-walks still benefit you.
Love company? Walking with a friend can help keep you motivated. Plus, if you know that someone else is waiting for you, you're more likely to put on your sneakers and get out there.
Once you get moving, there are a lot of ways to add exercise to your day. Park at the opposite end of the parking lot when you go shopping or to work. Unload your groceries one bag at a time. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. The possibilities are endless. When you're on a roll, you'll find your own ways to fit in more exercise.