1. Find a friend or relative to be your diabetes exercise buddy. Ive been hiking 3-5 miles a day for over 20 years because I meet a friend every weekday morning. I know she expects me to be there, so I always show up. Id feel really guilty if I didnt make it to her house. Having an exercise buddy really works!
2. Start your diabetes exercise program slowly and add a little more walking time each week. Often what stops people from really developing an exercise habit, is that they do too much and get tired and sore. That leads them to stop exercising. We dont want that to happen to you!
3. Walk at least half an hour per day – did you know that walking significantly lowers blood pressure as well as blood sugar? You can test this for yourself at home. Before you walk, check your blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Check them again after your walk and see how many points lower they are. Keep a diary to remind you how much a diabetes and exercise practice helps to keep you healthy. See the note below before starting a new exercise program.
4. Try doing your main exercise in the morning. That way your body is energized and your metabolism revved up and ready to go for the day ahead!
5. Once you’ve been doing your diabetes exercise program for awhile, if you walk on a flat surface, you can get an extra upper body work out, by using walking or ski poles! Plus, they help keep you balanced and safe so youre less likely to fall. They also can help you with your balance in wet or snowy weather. Dont try this tip unless you already have been walking regularly, its strenuous!
6. Hike…find a park, open space or even your city streets with some hills and walk up and down the hills. The best diabetes exercise you can do is hill walking. It’s an excellent cardiovascular work out. Remember to start gradually and work up to longer walks, then steeper hills over time.
7. Another great diabetes exercise tip is to use light weights while walking – youd be amazed at how strong your arms and upper back will get when you carry or 1 pound weights on your walks.
*See note below about consulting your doctor before doing this, especially if you have pain in your arms or hands.
8. Just think, the best diabetes exercise is the easiest, just walk out your door and enjoy discovering all sorts of interesting things right in your neighborhood. Be sure you have comfortable shoes that fit well and give your feet proper support.