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Increase Movement to Keep Numbers in Check

Increase Movement to Keep Numbers in Check

There are so many things that can negatively impact your blood glucose numbers. There’s the food that you eat, being ill, experiencing stress and interactions with other medications.


But there is something that can work in your favor to help keep your numbers in check – moving more! When you exercise, regardless of what that movement is, it always works to lower your blood glucose numbers.


The reason that it can do this is because when you’re more active, this increases your body’s insulin sensitivity. When your body’s insulin sensitivity is increased, then your cells can use the insulin.


Being active causes your cells to be able to work in ways that they struggle with when you’re not active. Increased movement causes you to have lower numbers immediately. By remaining active, over time, you’ll notice improvements in the numbers shown on your A1c lab test.


What you do and how long you stay moving will play a part in how low your blood glucose goes. It will also determine how long the lowered glucose will impact you. You can experience the benefit of lowered glucose for as long as a day after you exercise.


The reason this happens goes back again to the insulin sensitivity. The more you move, the better control you end up having. Because exercise does impact your glucose numbers, you’ll need to pay attention to what goes on in your body when you do start moving more.


Before you exercise, make sure you use your meter to test what your numbers are. Then once you’ve completed your exercise, see what the numbers are again. When you do this, it will help you discover which movements have the greatest benefit to your glucose levels.


You’ll also be able to determine which kind of exercise might not be worth the time if you end up only dropping a point or two. For a lot of diabetics, it was inactivity and excess weight gain that led to the diagnosis in the first place.


So, you might not be used to exercising much - if at all. It can be a test of your willpower to have to make the decision that you’re going to move more. But just like making simple changes with your diet can reap long term benefits, making slow and simple changes to how active you are can do the same.


You can start off with something that’s easy to do such as walking. Just make the decision that you’re going to change the ratio of inactivity over activity to being that where you’re active more often than you’re not.


You’ll want to work up to being more active if you’re not used to it. Start by walking just ten minutes a day, three times a week. Then gradually increase the three times a week to five times a week.


Once you do that, slowly increase the length of time that you walk until you’re walking at least thirty minutes a day. Once you’re used to getting up and walking, add exercise that can help you tone your muscles and target any areas of your body that you may have excess fat - especially if this is on the abdomen.


Losing weight around the abdomen can increase your body’s ability to be sensitive to insulin and in conjunction with dieting, it’s the next most important part of controlling your diabetes.


It doesn’t take any special tools or any particular type of exercise. All movement can help you lower glucose levels, lose weight and get healthier. Moving more can lower your odds of developing heart disease.


It can also add years to your life, thanks to the many other benefits it gives. You’ll experience lower blood pressure and better circulation - especially in the lower extremities.


You’ll be able to bring down your cholesterol numbers and eliminate the amount of body fat that you have. Exercising can bring high BMI numbers down into a healthy range, too.


Besides improving how your body is able to use insulin, moving more can tone up your different muscle groups and help your bones to stay healthy. When you exercise, you’ll have more energy, be able to deal with stress better and sleep well at night.


For best results, you’ll want to try to do something active every day. If you’re the type of person who absolutely hates anything that even looks like exercise, then move more toward something that you find fun to do - such as dancing or gardening.


When you’re ready to get started, set a goal that’s easily obtainable. Don’t start out with saying that you’re going to walk ten miles. Focus on a mile, then build up to ten miles if that’s your goal.


Trying to overdo it is a sure way to end up with injuries or burned out. Make sure that you dress comfortably for any activity that you do. You don’t want to chafe or end up with a blister – especially since diabetics often find that wounds heal more slowly. 


You can do such activities such as walking the dog. Not only can your furry pet benefit from the fresh air and exercise, but so will you. Studies have shown that people who walk their dogs are in better physical condition than people who don’t.


Do your own lawn maintenance instead of hiring a service. You can pull weeds, edge the lawn and mow the grass. Add extra efforts such as wearing a pedometer around the house and when you go out.


Each day, try to add 100 to 300 steps to your walking count. There are numerous ways to do this such as carrying fewer items when you’re going from room to room so that you have to make more trips.


Park as far as you can from the grocery store, from your office, from the library and from your children’s school when you pick them up. This will add to your walking count. Skip the elevator and always take the stairs.


Engage in activities that are ones that make you move - such as bowling, tennis, or yoga. If you like to watch television, that’s okay – but get a treadmill and watch television while you walk.

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