Physical exercise is an invaluable element of living with diabetes or another chronic disease. Exercise helps control weight, lower blood pressure, reduce harmful LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, raise HDL cholesterol, strengthen muscles, bones, and vital organs, and relieve anxiety. Studies have shown that the addition of physical activity to a standard lifestyle can even spare your life.
One of the simplest exercises for anyone to do is walking. Walking is a great way to increase your activity and improve your health.
When Is the Best Time For Someone With Diabetes to Walk?
In general, one to three hours after eating, when your blood sugar level is probably highest, is the greatest time to exercise. If you use insulin, it’s crucial to check your blood sugar levels before working out. A piece of fruit or a modest snack will raise the level if it is below 100 mg/dL before exercise, preventing hypoglycemia.
Checking your blood sugar after any very taxing exercise or activity is also a good idea. Your risk of experiencing hypoglycemia may be greatest six to 12 hours after working out if you take insulin. Experts also caution against exercising if your blood sugar is too high since exercise may raise blood sugar even higher.
Health Benefits of Walking
1. Better blood sugar control. Glucose is used by your body as an energy source when you work out. When you have type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar levels become too high, yet exercise makes it easier to consume that sugar and subsequently lowers it.
2. Weight management. You burn calories whenever you move, so walking can help you achieve your weight management objectives. The number of calories you burn will depend on a variety of factors, such as your age, weight, intensity, and distance.
3. Improved heart health. Cardiovascular disease is two to four times more likely to strike those with diabetes than those without it. As was already mentioned, walking strengthens both your heart and entire cardiovascular system. Additionally, it can assist in lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
4. Improved mood and stress relief. It can be difficult and frustrating to manage type 2 diabetes. One effective method to calm your nerves? Go on a walk. Endorphins, which are feel-good hormones, can improve your mood and reduce stress.
5. Better sleep. You may sleep better at night if you exercise during the day. According to the ADA, improved sleep leads to better diabetes management.
6. Fewer complications. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage and eye, foot, and kidney difficulties, among other major health problems. Your risk of problems can be reduced by exercise and improved type 2 diabetes management.
With so many benefits to walking, it’s a good activity to pick up at any point or for any reason. Helping to control your diabetes is just one of those reasons. With any exercise program, be sure to talk with your physician before starting.