An important relationship: Diabetes and physical activity

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During times of stress, physical activity can be an effective way to help manage how you feel. For people with diabetes, getting exercise is crucial. Blood sugar and insulin sensitivity are improved with exercise. This means lower blood sugar readings and better utilization of insulin.

Get moving. Wear a fitness tracking device to encourage more active time and to set activity reminders. Try not to sit longer than 30 minutes at a time.

Set goals. Aim to get up and stay up for at least three minutes after you sit for thirty-minutes. Stand, walk around, or march in place. Try to plan for at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week (30 minutes, five days per week), like walking or biking.

Get creative. Get other household members involved or video chat with a friend. Challenges or competitions can make activity more motivating. Try out a mini workout while performing household tasks.

Challenge yourself. Consider high-intensity interval training. This has been shown to greatly improve cardiorespiratory fitness. This involves intense effort followed by low intensity moves. Workouts are shorter and more challenging, typically 15 to 20 minutes.

Build muscle. Use a combination of light hand weights, resistance bands, or even your own body weight. Work a different muscle group each time—upper body one day and lower body the next. This allows your muscles time to recover.

Recover with stretching. Stretching helps to lengthen muscle fibers. This can preserve your range of motion and reduce injury risk. Regular stretching can improve balance and prevent falls.

Did you know?

According to the Berrien County Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 11.7% of respondents had been told by a health professional that they have diabetes. Black adults in Berrien County also reported a higher prevalence of diabetes diagnosis (21.5%) compared to white adults (9.7%). To learn more about the important work being done to help everyone in our community achieve optimal health, visit spectrumhealthlakeland.org/chna

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