We all know that physical activity is important for strong minds and bodies, but the word exercise conjures up images of hours spent toiling away at the gym. Why some people enjoy working out at the gym, for many people it can trigger shame, fear, and exhaustion. It’s time to reframe exercise as movement, recreation, and play to change peoples attitudes!
The CDC recommends least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. This can be broken up into 20 to 25 minutes of activity every day or 60 minutes several times a week. Moderate-intensity physical activity can help you reduce your blood sugar level and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes complications. If you are prediabetic this type of physical activity can help you reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Staying healthy while keeping fit with T2DM
- Make sure you drink plenty of fluids while being physically active to prevent dehydration (harmful loss of water in the body).
- Make sure to check your blood sugar before being physically active, especially if you take insulin.
- If it’s below 100 mg/dL, you may need to eat a small snack containing 15-30 grams of carbohydrates, such as 2 tablespoons of raisins or ½ cup of fruit juice or regular soda (not diet), or glucose tablets so your blood sugar doesn’t fall too low while being physically active. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemiaexternal icon) can be very serious.
- If it’s above 240 mg/dL, your blood sugar may be too high (hyperglycemia) to be active safely. Test your urine for ketones – substances made when your body breaks down fat for energy. The presence of ketones indicates that your body doesn’t have enough insulin to control your blood sugar. If you are physically active when you have high ketone levels, you risk ketoacidosis – a serious diabetes complication that needs immediate treatment.
- When you’re physically active, wear cotton socks and athletic shoes that fit well and are comfortable.
There are so many different ways to get active!
If we think about physical activity as movement, play, or recreation we can get a so creative and include so many fun activities like: gardening, skipping rope, and roller skating. It’s time to take a more “playful” attitude to exercise. Click on the links below to learn more about these physical activities and how to add fun back into your exercise routines!
- Play is more than just fun for kids
- Team sports for exercise and friends
- Shinrin-yoku aka Forest Bathing
- Regular Exercise
More resources to help you get more movement into your life
- Tips for being active with diabetes from the CDC