Benefits of exercise
Along with diet and medication, exercise helps to lower your blood sugar and lose weight by increasing your insulin sensitivity and helping you burn calories. In the short term, exercise can help you to lower your blood sugar, and in the long term, when you are active on a regular basis, it helps to lower your Hemoglobin A1C level. It is important to become familiar with how your blood sugar level responds to exercise.
Make it a habit
Exercise includes anything that gets your body moving, such as walking, dancing, working in the yard, or doing other household chores. Getting in some regular physical activity doesn’t mean you need to run a marathon or lift an insane amount of weights. The goal is to get active and stay active by doing things you enjoy. Here are some tips:
1. Don’t worry about the type
Focus on increasing your overall activity, such as walking, rather than a particular type of exercise. Is there something that you always wanted to try? Go ahead and try it!
2. Track your progress
Get a pedometer to track your steps, keep you motivated, and better help you reach your weight loss goals. It’s even more fun if you and your friends track your progress together.
3. Buddy up
Work out with a friend or family member to increase your motivation and keep you accountable. Most things are more fun when you do it with someone else.
4. Set goals
Set specific, attainable goals. While setting stretch goals can be good, they can also be discouraging if you do not reach them. Set small goals at first and then create bigger ones as you increase your level exercise.
5. Treat Yo’ Self
Reward yourself for making small wins and reaching goals rather than focusing on the consequences of not reaching your goals.
6. Keep it in sight
Use visual cues as reminders to exercise, such as notes on the refrigerator and cell phones alarm clocks.
7. Write it down
Document every time your exercise and be specific.
8. Join a class
Join a fitness class, be it dancing, cycling, or any other activity to get a more structured experience.
9. Make small changes first
Change one behavior at a time rather than trying to change everything all at once.
10. Keep it in perspective
Look at the big picture to conquer your long-term exercise behavior goals.
11. Find support
Turn to a mentor for support, like your doctor, diabetes educator, family member, or friend, or become someone else’s mentor.