Staying Active With Diabetes: Think Outside The Box!

woman with weightsDepending on the person (and the day), “exercise” can either be a welcome activity – or a dreaded task. Either way, it’s essential for good health – especially for people with diabetes.

“Being active provides huge benefits, from lowering blood glucose (sugar), cholesterol and blood pressure to helping with weight loss and improving mood,” said Karen Kemmis, a certified diabetes educator with SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, and executive board member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). “The good news is that even for people who are not passionate about ‘exercise,’ there are many ways to be active.”

AADE suggests the following strategies for becoming more active and being as fit as you can.

Find your motivation – Figure out what you want to achieve by staying active. Would you like to be able to play with your nephew or grandchild without losing your breath? Or do you want to lose weight, improve your blood glucose level or have less pain? Whatever your goals, write them down. Make a note of things that are challenging for you now (getting out of a chair, climbing the stairs, running for the train or riding your bike to the store). After several weeks of being active, try that challenging activity again and it should be easier, proof that practice pays off. And don’t get discouraged when you get out of a routine – it happens – just pull out your list of goals to remind yourself why you’re doing this, and start again.

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